Fresh Water Might Run Out by Even 2050

Jay Park, Staff Writer


It appears that we have so much water, but in reality, it's running out.
It appears that we have so much water, but in reality, it’s running out.

Where does the water that we use on a daily basis come from? Ocean water, which covers 71% of Earth, is out of the question because of its salinity according to US Geological Survey. Our kidneys require freshwater to separate salt from the water, which is counterintuitive. Without ocean water, we are left with 2.5% freshwater. That’s not much, considering the number is further reduced because 1.8% of freshwater is frozen in ice caps and glaciers. The remaining 0.7% is in groundwater, rain or snow. This small percentage is what the entire Earth’s terrestrial organism relies on to survive, and it is disappearing quickly.

  There are different causes for this. Thermoelectric and agricultural uses of water are the biggest problems right now. Thermoelectricity is the generation of electricity by adjusting temperature. We use massive amounts of freshwater in cooling power generators (that, in turn, generates electricity), which are built near water sources like rivers. However, this water hardly returns to its source because it evaporates into the air and end up as rain over cities. That water becomes polluted after washing over metropolitan areas where the power generators are located.

  Meanwhile, agriculture is the second biggest water spender, totaling 128 billion gallons of water per day. A large supply of water is required for irrigation. The water is then mixed with pesticide and various chemicals in the soil. This water is drained into oceans and lake, destroying the local aquatic ecosystems and making the water unusable for human consumption.

  Many people see this data and believe they themselves cannot change water consumption: but they can. For better or worse, individual people are using a large amount of unnecessary water. Reducing spending is key for local communities to save water.

   Three billion people on this world lack access to safe drinking water, according to Columbia University, and the small amount we have is being quickly contaminated. Here in California, we are also suffering various droughts in succession. Several Californian authorities have spoken up: we do not have the luxury of wasting water.

  The El Niño early this year did not provide nearly enough water to pull us out of this drought. In fact, researchers believe that we will soon fall back into repeated droughts once again. People themselves are not contributing nearly enough to change the outcome.

  In the end, it is up to people to make a conscious effort to change their habits. Like voting, some individuals would see themselves as incapable of changing their efforts, but the truth remains, we cannot let water run out. Every time you use water, recall the statistics of the dwindling water supply and try to conserve it as much as you can.