Why water, indeed? On my “environmental science major soapbox” where a major part of my job is promoting conservation issues to the public everyday- it was a no brainer for me to be involved in this awesome endeavor that Meghan is so passionate about. I also happen to live in the Florida Keys where there is a premium on everything from food to gas and especially water- we do not have a freshwater source and import all of our water from the mainland. However, as Americans, it’s super easy to forget with our bottled options, purified fridge water, and readily available CLEAN tap water that freshwater resource conservation is one of the MAJOR issues that nations today face. In arid areas of the world and less developed regions, the lack of potable water can lead to tensions stemming from agricultural stress, lacking availability to people, and corporation pressures by the government. Many environmentalists, scientists, and politicians alike purport that wars ensuing in the 21st century are likely to be influenced by pressures stemming from fresh water availability.
We see this throughout human history as well- early tribes competing for settlement space or riverine trading routes. Water has always been the primary factor influencing both human and animal migration patterns. Water, this simple and essential compound for life, is a finite resource that has been recycled from Earth’s atmospheric inception, but we need to be aware of the importance of promoting water resource management! According to author Steven Solomon, Americans’ “water use between 1900 and 1975 actually tripled relative to population growth” but despite the major increase in population growth since, our water usage “has flat-lined” (NPR). The impetus for this change? Political action and conservation awareness. Major changes stemming from the Clean Water Act of 1972 led to greater regulations of pollutant sources entering natural waterways and enhanced wastewater treatment techniques within the United States.
See? I knew I’d step on my Envi-sci soapbox. The point is, water is VITAL to our survival, but also something that we largely take for granted in America- especially when it’s not summer drought season. I know- half of the East Coast is several feet deep in snow right now and those summer swimsuits seem a thing of the past- but our goal at S4H2O is forward thinking into the future. By purchasing one of our swimsuits that support affordable clean drinking water technologies, you contribute to making fresh drinking water more readily available for people around the globe! And have you seen the suits? Girl, you’ll be effecting change in style.
Until next time you awesome, athletic, conservationists- I’ve got a new book on my winter reading list by Solomon- Water- the Epic Struggle for Wealth, Power, and Civilization. (Amazon is telling me it’s 624 pages, so I’m going to get a jump on it!)
Emily A. Thompson