The annual Blog Action Day is this year focused on water.  Take a few minutes with me to focus on this important issue.

In some ways I’ve had water conservation as a recurring theme for the past few decades of my life.   Early on in my professional career I was the executive director of the Great Lakes Governors and Premiers.  I focused on among other issues, the 20% of the fresh surface water that the U.S. Great Lakes comprise (there is a also a Great Lakes region in Africa). We looked at quality issues as well as quantity ones (including possible diversions that could be requested).  We worked hard to educate people about the preciousness of water in a region that takes it for granted and created the Great Lakes Protection Fund to help preserve the lakes for future generations.

The preciousness of water, a stark reality for much of the world, is a hard concept to grasp for others.  Here is an interesting article describing how billions of people worldwide on all continents are at  risk of ‘water insecurity’ due to scarcity or pollution.

What are some of the things we can do to preserve these precious (and finite) water sources for future generations?

1. Conservation Starts at Home: The average person uses 465 liters of water per day. Find out how much you use: with this calculator.

2. Drop the Bottle The US, Mexico and China lead the world in bottled water consumption, with people in the US drinking an average of 200 bottles of water per person each year. Over 17 million barrels of oil are needed to manufacture those water bottles, 86 percent of which will never be recycled. Many communities now have programs to ban bottled water.  Look at your individual, family and community habits and guidelines and see what you can do to help.

3. Technology for Good: Do you want to measure how much water it took to make your favorite foods? There’s an app for that too!