IDEAS For Us | March 21, 2016

World Water Day and Sustainability: The Importance of the 5 Pillars

As World Water Day 2016 inches closer and closer we begin to think how water plays a role in many parts of our everyday lives. Making up nearly 60% of our entire body and upwards of 90% in other organisms it’s safe to that water is a key to success and life as we know it. Aside from the fact that more than half of our bodies are composed of water we also need to drink water to survive. The interesting thing is that water plays a much larger role in all our five pillars of sustainability (energy, water, food, waste, and ecology) maybe even in some ways you may never have thought of.

  1. Energy- Water is necessary for many types of energy production including some very common styles like powering turbines and cultivation of crops to create biofuels. In return energy is needed to make water accessible. This includes pumping, transportation, and treatment. This relationship is essential, clean water could not exist without energy and energy could not exist with out waters natural power.
  1. Water- Water security is very important and there is already over 2 billion people who wake up everyday with high water scarcity. This basically means that these people are not sure where their water is coming from and could go a few days without any clean water.
  1. Food- Just like us, plants are living creatures that need water to grow into their mature forms to be harvested for our consumption. Therefore water is key to food security. Dietary shifts from a starch based diet to a meat and dairy based diet have made the need for clean water even more apparent. We need to make sure our plants and animals have enough water to keep growing into mature and ready to be harvest produce and meat.
  1. Waste- Pollution of our lakes, rivers and oceans can be directly linked to waste and the improper disposal of chemicals and raw sewage. As more and more waste finds its way to our waters less people, and animals, have clean drinking water and other organisms do not have safe places to live, reproduce, and prosper. That is why it is important to make sure you dispose of waste properly and recycle all goods that take long times to break down.
  1. Ecology- Every fish, whale, or shark (along with millions of other types of organisms) call water their home. Whether it’s salt water, fresh water, or an estuary you will find some form of life ranging from as small as an amoeba all the way to as big as a blue whale. Even organisms that spend most of their time on land still need a source of water to cool down after a hot day on the savannah, grab a drink, or hid themselves from an aggressive predator.

So for this World Water Day remember the importance of water not to just our individual well-being but the well being of nature, the plants and animals that live there, and the various sources of energy associated with it.