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The True Cost of Water

Discussion in 'We Are Water Project!' started by Jill Heinerth, May 3, 2012.

  1. Jill Heinerth

    Jill Heinerth RebreatherPro ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives:
    Location: High Springs, Florida
    I am in Bermuda this week and have lots of reminders about water conservation. The drought continues in Bermuda and despite the fact we had a gentle rain this morning, there is still a great worry about how to get and pay for water here. Last night my hosts carefully saved the baby’s bath water and used it in the garden. Not a drop is wasted. Today they await a delivery of water to partially fill their cistern. It is $90 per 1000 gallons. If this family used water at the rate that most Americans did, their daily bill would reach well over $50 a day. Could your family afford $20,000 in extra expenses or might you treat water as the precious and limited resource that it is. Water is always on the minds of Bermudians, even thought hey live in the center of a vast ocean. I challenge you to spend a day considering every drop you use. Think about the true cost of water and help us all save a little bit. Here is a beautiful picture of the glory of water in Bermuda just as a thanks.
    Mark Derail, Peter_C and agilis like this.
  2. Mike

    Mike Great White

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Denver, Colorado
    The earth is a closed system, water doesn't disappear. If you live in a desert you shouldn't be surprised access to water is limited.

    Technology solves all problems where conservation of resources only drags out the problem. Bermuda's surrounded by water, why don't they upgrade the desalinization plant and use all the water they want? It's running at only 1/2 capacity isn't it?
    AfterDark likes this.
  3. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many. Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    I lived in Northern California in the 1970's, when we had a severe drought. Water was rationed. If you were invited to dinner at someone's house, you brought, not a bottle of wine, but a gallon of water. We didn't flush toilets more than once or twice a day, and the water that runs out of faucets while it warms was caught and used for other things. Although the drought problems resolved, the experience changed me, and for the rest of my life, I've been acutely aware of water waste (which is funny now, because I live in Seattle, where water is really never an issue).

    Options like desalinization are great, where people live near the seashore and have unlimited sunshine -- otherwise, they're difficult and energy intensive. When you read about the children in South Africa who walk a mile or more to get fresh water to bring home, or you read about the parasitic diseases they get from standing in rivers and streams to wash clothing or themselves, you realize just how precious clean, fresh water is, and how lucky those of us are who have it to waste.
    Jax and Peter_C like this.
  4. RMAdventure

    RMAdventure Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: CO
    I've heard that they are starting to use sunlight to purify water in plastic bottles. The disadvantage is it takes time and fairly clear water, but once you have some plastic bottles it is essentially free and unlimited. Here is a little info about it: SODIS Water Purification
  5. mike_dippert

    mike_dippert Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Indiana
    That's a dangerous idea, and is exactly what is going to destroy the planet as we know it.
    agilis likes this.
  6. wrybosome

    wrybosome Solo Diver

    # of Dives:
    Location: Philadelphia
    There was an interesting story on npr last month regarding the cholera epidemic in Haiti. The response they highlighted was installing self-service chlorine pumps in villages where there is access to water but no treatment available for the water.

    Drought is not usually an issue here in the Philly area either, lying between two major rivers.
  7. drbill

    drbill The Lorax for the Kelp Forest Scuba Legend

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Santa Catalina Island, CA
    Jill, I've lived on Catalina Island for most of the last 42 years. We've been through several drought cycles and although we do have a desal plant, we rely mostly on entrained rainwater captured by our primary watershed. Given that most of our residents are pretty sensitive to conserving fresh water. Of course our nearly one million visitors per year may not have the same mindset.
  8. Tigerman

    Tigerman Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Norway
    The problem is that if I conserve water its not gonna help someone in africa, bermuda or any other location away from me in the least.
    Freshwater is, has always been and will always be a resource which has extreme local variations in supply because of how our planet is composed.

    Where I live you can find drinkable freshwater pretty much wherever you turn, while in Sahara.. not so much..
    Mike likes this.
  9. Peter_C

    Peter_C Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Santa Rosa, CA
    True to a point, but places like here in Northern California we ship our water hundreds of miles away to a desert, known as Los Angeles. Our water is not drinkable until it has been processed, but even then still contains chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Jill's project of bringing about water awareness, is something people from all over the world should take notice too. My point being there is more to it, then having a constant supply. We truly are a global society as what happens in other parts of the world effects everyone. Chernobyl is a perfect example of how Norway was affected by another country. FWIW I am of Suomi descent.

    Article on Norway's water pollution.

    "Southern half of Norway still suffering from damage
    Acid rain is still responsible for poor water quality in lakes and rivers in the southern half of Norway, and especially in the southernmost counties. Many fish stocks have been depleted or wiped out as a result, and other aquatic animals and plants are also affected."

    "Trends determined by energy use

    Acid rain is mainly caused by combustion of fossil fuels. About 90 per cent of the sulphur and 80 per cent of the nitrogen deposited in Norway originates in other European countries. The UK, Germany and Poland are among the most important sources. This means that the amount of acid rain falling on Norway is to a large extent determined by developments elsewhere in Europe. "
  10. Tigerman

    Tigerman Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Norway
    Acid rain IS an issue but not with regards to drinking water (here, and I am in the southern half of Norway).
    Theres been a lot of calcination of areas thats been hardest hit and chernobyl definetly screwed up the reindeer farmers pretty badly.

    However, unless it becomes feasable to export insane ammounts of freshwater at prices thats way below those of bottled water (which we do have exports of) it simply dont matter to the freshwater supply how much of it I use up here.
    Im very well aware of the enourmous challenges we have to provide the worlds population with healthy freshwater, but Im also well aware of how water cycle on our planet and how that circulation by default favours some areas (like mine) over others (like sahara).

    How much would a bottle of Voss water be in the US?
    And the secret to that bottled water is.. Pretty much a pump from the same source that the inhabitants of Voss has as their tapwater..

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