Today’s blog was written by Marilyn Hall, Water Conservation Coordinator for Athens-Clarke County, Georgia.
Today is the International Day of Peace. It is great time to reflect on peace and conflict and to recognize peace advocates and the risks they have taken to “fight” for peace. I am proud to share the planet with these people. Although it is ridiculous to compare myself to Malala Yousafzai or Eleanor Roosevelt, they inspire me to think about what I can do for peace.
There are a lot or reasons for war and one of them is something I can actually help with. According to the Pacific Institute at least 343 wars and conflicts have been fought over water. The number of conflicts can only increase as the demand for water grows along with world population. If I am an advocate for water, I am also an advocate for peace.
We abuse water.
Although water is essential for life and the health of all ecosystems on Earth, people do not treat water well. Water is a victim of pollution and over consumption of water-hogging products. The abuse of our water resources leads to shortages, seemingly unsustainable water management decisions, and conflict.
There are many things I can do as an individual to conserve water. Conserving is a great first step, but water use by individuals is a drop in the bucket compared to how much water goes into the goods we purchase and the food we eat.
85% of water consumed goes toward irrigation and livestock and animal agriculture uses more water than all other agriculture combined. Animal Agriculture is also the leading cause of climate change. But this is a water blog, so I will steer clear of that issue. Or should I? Climate change is intensifying droughts, floods, and hurricanes. Water and climate change are inextricably linked. If something makes climate change worse, it makes drought worse too.
Keep it simple.
Being a water advocate is getting more and more complicated. What can one person do? Keep it simple and do these 5 things.
- Continue to conserve at home! This protects the Oconee River’s ecosystem and helps ensure we have enough clean drinking water.
- Eliminate most meat and dairy from your diet. It sounds hard, but it isn’t. Even the laziest person can be vegan. https://veganlazy.wordpress.com/ http://lazygirlvegan.com/
- Share your knowledge. If one of your friends becomes a water advocate, your impact doubles!
- Attend public meetings and ask how decisions will impact water. Pay attention!
- Support organizations that support water. Here are few to check out
Do you have ideas on how to defend water and advocate for its protection? Let me know by leaving a comment. Thanks!