Field of Science

Water, water, everywhere - NOT!

As part of a regular exercise to make biology students think a bit about bigger pictures, public concerns, TPP asks them to identify and try to decide about an increasingly scarce resource.  They do a commendable job, their list covers most of the usual suspects, but it seldom, if ever (memory fails me) mentions water.  For the most part people don't realize how much water you use directly every day; almost nobody realizes how much water their life-style uses especially to provide your food, your clothing, even your morning newspaper (which even if it is calculated doesn't include the water needed to grow the tree to provide the paper pulp).  TPP's biggest concern about fracking here in Lincolnland is how much water the process uses and no one will tell you where all this water is going to come from.  Today is World Water Day.  A lot of people have become aware of their carbon-footprint, but how many people know their water footprint?  As the drought continues (no it isn't over) here in the midwestern USA, people are discovering that having enough water can be a challenge.  But here's an image from last year's Discover Magazine to put water in perspective.  It's a picture of the Earth with all of the water from all the oceans and lakes formed into a single sphere and there it is.  All of Earth's water.  Shows you how shallow your knowledge of water really is.  Granted that's still a big sphere, but only 4% of that sphere is fresh water.  Water is an increasingly scarce resource.  Be responsible. 1st thing to go; water hungry, perpetually green grass lawns, a complete and total waste of water. 

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