Think it can’t happen here?
City dwellers may think a well running dry may only happen in rural areas. After all, the recent water crisis in Needles occurred in a small desert town. But in 2018, Cape Town, South Africa, with a population of more than 4.6 million people, faced becoming the first major city in the world to run out of drinkable water. TIME magazine’s Aryn Baker shared her first-hand experience, “I knew we were in trouble when I found myself Googling dry composting toilets.”
Residents there were limited to 13 gallons of water per person per day. It was “enough for a 90-second shower, a half-gallon of drinking water, a sinkful to hand-wash dishes or laundry, one cooked meal, two hand-washings, two teeth brushings and one toilet flush,” she wrote.
This August, Mendocino, a NorCal city that sees more than 2 million visitors a year, faced a similar shocking scenario. With the current historic drought impacting at least nine states in the West, many other towns and cities may face terrifying realities. In fact, the United Nations predicts that by 2025, two-thirds of the world’s population may be living under water-stressed conditions.
“‘Imagine a Day Without Water’ is an opportunity for all citizens to pause and reflect upon our responsibility to respect and protect water, the world’s most important resource,” said Jim Williams, American Water Works Association (AWWA) President. “Providing safe and plentiful water supplies demands significant resources, technical expertise, and managerial skill.”
Save every day
At Rebuild SoCal Partnership, we encourage Californians to take a moment to reflect on October 21 and recognize how vital water is to our daily lives. Now more than ever we need to treat the free-flowing water from our tap with respect.
Incorporate water-saving practices into your daily lives and cut back usage by at least the 15% Gov. Gavin Newsom has called for. Contact your elected officials at the state and federal levels and encourage them to invest in water infrastructure.
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