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Not a drop to drink--Part 1: Down the drain

Monday, February 25, 2008

not_a_drop_1.jpg With droughts parching extensive tracts of land from the Southeast to the Western states, worries over future water shortages sound ever louder and more urgent. Yet few of us actually imagine the bleak look of a world where water may be rationed, sold to the highest bidder or distributed by the government between various competing needs.

Is this future unavoidable? Will water shortages and water conflicts shape our lives – or do we actually have enough clean drinking water to last for a while if only we take good stewardship of our water resources?

Let’s talk for a moment about the daily shower. We all enjoy it; we take it for granted; we take offense when someone does not share our views on the necessity of it. Nobody wants to stand in a crowded bus next to a person who considers hygiene to be a matter of personal preference.

However, as we hurry through our morning routine (4 minutes and 56 seconds for the shower before gulping a cup of coffee), do we even consider how the chemicals that we send flowing down the drain may endanger our future sources of drinking water?