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The reliability of our faucets providing water every time we turn them on can make water seem like a magical, never-ending resource. Wash Hand Basin
But abusing the availability of this finite resource can contribute to water scarcity and harm our capacity to deal with the impact of the climate crisis.
“Four billion people today already live in places that are affected by water scarcity at least part of the year,” said Rick Hogeboom, executive director of the Water Footprint Network, an international knowledge center based in the Netherlands. “Climate change will have a worsening influence on the demand-supply balance,” he said.
Eating seasonally and locally has many benefits. Is fighting the climate crisis one of them?
“If all people were to conserve water in some way, that would help ease some of the immediate impacts seen from the climate crisis,” said Shanika Whitehurst, associate director of sustainability for Consumer Reports’ research and testing. Consumer Reports is a nonprofit that helps consumers evaluate goods and services.
“Unfortunately, there has been a great toll taken on our surface and groundwater sources, so conservation efforts would more than likely have to be employed long term for there to be a more substantial effect.”
Yes, businesses and governments should play a part in water conservation by, respectively, producing goods “water efficiently” and allocating water in a sustainable, equitable way, Hogeboom said.
But “addressing the multifaceted water crises is a shared responsibility. No one actor can solve it, nor is there a silver bullet,” he added. “We need all actors to play their part.”
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