Consumerism, Organic Clothes And Declining Water Supply - Is There A Connection 1 by anamaulida


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        <p>In part three of the five-part series discussing how
consumerism factors into global environmental decline, we are looking at
the connection between clean water availability and consumerism and how
organic clothes fits into the whole equation. </p><p>Only three percent
of the world's supply of water is fresh water, which is stored in
aquifers, surface waters and the atmosphere, and since there is no
reliable and economical method to convert large amounts of saline water
to potable water, the competition for water is only going to
rise.</p><p>Today, about 884 million people have inadequate access to
safe drinking water and 2.5 billion people do not have adequate access to
water for sanitation and waste disposal. And if predictions are correct
and the world's population increases by 3 billion by 2050, every citizen
on Earth will be facing an enormous water crisis in the coming
years.</p><p>So is the decline of water availability really just about
population? No, at least according the United Nations, which released a
report in 2006 that said 1) the world does not have enough water and 2)
the problem of insufficiency is "due to mismanagement, corruption, lack
of appropriate institutions, bureaucratic inertia and a shortage of
investment in both human capacity and physical infrastructure."
</p><p>With little in place to manage or control water usage, it really
comes down to what we do as individuals that determines how soon we get
ourselves into (or out of) a water crisis. So how much water do we
consume? The average American uses about 180 gallons per day for personal
use (washing, drinking, etc.), but this does not include water used for
food production. If we factor in the water used for agriculture and
cooling power plants, the number of gallons used per day per person
skyrockets to 1,430 gallons. Just for food production, it takes about 108
gallons of water to produce a pound of wheat and 12,000 gallons of water
to produce a pound of beef. In the United States, 87 percent of all the
fresh water consumed in a year goes to agriculture and about 33 percent
of the total grain produced in the world is fed to livestock.
</p><p>While there are many clear indicators that our current levels of
water consumption, compounded by our limited supply of fresh water, are
serious issues themselves, another environmental concern is how we simply
contaminate the good water we do have. </p><p>Take, for instance, the
clothing industry, and specifically the role cotton production has played
in the industry's value. Cotton production requires roughly one-third of
a pound of chemical fertilizers and pesticides to product one pound of
harvested cotton, and all these pesticides must end up somewhere. Most,
in fact, end up in aquifers and water tables, and in the United States 14
million people are routinely drinking water contaminated with
carcinogenic herbicides and 90 percent of municipal water treatment
facilities lack the equipment to remove these chemicals. Something worth
thinking about, is it not?</p><p>There is no resource in this world more
important then water. Without good quality water, we cannot survive. By
choosing to shop and live sustainably we can both help reduce water
consumption and reduce water contamination. Choosing eco friendly
clothing will certainly help but we must go further then that. We must
look at all facets of our current lifestyles, including what we eat and
how we live.<br></p>        <!--INFOLINKS_OFF-->

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