According to Canada Mortgage and Housing, sustainability is …”an economic, social and environmental concept that involves meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
It can take a lesson in economics, society, and the environment, but ultimately, the very root of the definition speaks to the responsible management of our natural resources. Do you have any idea how much water you use in the run of a day?
For developed and developing nations, water and housing are the two primary components of the equation to maintain or spur on growth, while keeping our focus turned to the needs of future generations. In housing, the development of new communities is predicted based on the availability of clean drinking water. The water is found, the community is planned, the building begins, and then we come along, ready to deplete the one resource the community was founded upon. Urbanization has the biggest, blackest impact on the conditions of our water sheds and the quality of our water.
There are a number of ways that we as a global community, can do our part to reduce our negative impact on the most vital organ of our community ~ our waterways.
- Water Reuse ~ treated waste water can be used for many of the applications we normally turn our taps on for. By incorporating the use of waste water (also referred to as gray water) we can drastically reduce the amount of potable water we consume. The reclaimed water can be used for toilet flushing, outdoor washing, and landscape irrigation. The trend is picking up, and in Canada alone, there are several organizations and initiatives in place to support and promote residential waste water reuse.
- Water Efficiency ~ Waste Not-Want Not! The average Canadian consumes 339 liters of water per day! Europeans consume HALF that. Simply by being aware, you can cut down on your own water use. This is an example of how ONE person, really can make a difference! And about that bathroom tap that’s been leaking since last spring? By being mindful, and actually thinking about where it’s coming from, and where it’s ending up, we can easily cut down our water consumption.
- Rain Water Harvesting ~ We know it works! A return to this practice has been supported by governments throughout Germany, Australia and the US. This water can substitute for bathing, cleaning, gardening, farming and more. As our citizens become more aware, and make continuous efforts to improve their efficiency, there has even been an increase of numbers in cistern use. (Holding tanks designed to capture rainwater for use) to offset the use of groundwater wells.
Environment Canada refers to sustainability as, “the process of developing land, cities, businesses and communities so our current needs are met without comprimising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
Right now, as you sit back reading this, while the washing machine rolls in the background and the water hose tops up the swimming pool, it might be difficult to imagine living in a world without water…but perhaps it would help if you think of your children and grandchildren? Is it easier to imagine them living in a world without water? It is a much too precious commodity to be wasteful…and in many parts of the world, it is a nightmare that is all to real.