March 22, 2012
World Water Day 2012
Today marks World Water Day 2012, a day created by the United Nations that is meant to focus on the importance of sustaining freshwater sources.
The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says the world will have to produce up to 70 percent more food to feed the 9 billion people expected to inhabit Earth by 2050. It said this will ultimately require better water management.
Water consumption by agriculture is expected to jump 19 percent by 2050, but the U.N. World Water Development Report warns that the figure could be even higher if crop yields and production efficiency do not improve.
The FAO said water scarcity affects over 40 percent of people on Earth, and two-thirds could be living under water-stressed conditions by 2025.
Some ways people may be able to help conserve water on World Water Day is by drinking water from the tap instead of buying it in a bottle. According to Whole Living magazine, it takes three liters of water to make every one-liter bottle of water, not including the water put in to drink.
The magazine also said that it takes 2,900 gallons of water to make a single pair of blue jeans. Also, if a family saved 9 to 11 flushes on their toilet, it could save 45 to 55 gallons of water a day.
According to Whole Living, nearly two-thirds of the world's population will experience water shortages by 2025, and some residents in California already are having to truck in bottled water to bathe their kids.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said in 2008 that the average family may use up to 400 gallons of water every day in America.
World Water Day 2012 comes at a time when certain areas in the U.S. have seen the affects of life without water.
Texas A&M University agricultural economist Travis Miller said Texas' 2011 drought was the most expensive drought ever suffered by any state. The University's AgriLife Extension Service said Texas lost about $7.62 billion due to the 2011 drought.
Miller said that millions of acres of Texas crops never even got off the ground last year.