"Americans use more than 4.8 billion gallons of water per day merely to flush toilets."
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Home The Phrenicea vision concerning the state of fresh water in the latter half of the 21st century is not one of optimism. Fresh water is virtually free today, when compared to other commodities. This fosters waste and a blasé attitude. Imagine though, the perceived nuttiness of those in power to promote a price increase for water! But that is exactly what is needed — now.

Suppose tap water today cost a dollar per gallon. Would you use it differently?
(Preposterous? Gasoline costs more and you can live without gasoline. Imagine not having access to enough fresh water.)

As an exercise, pretend you were to pay $1/gallon the next time you take a shower
As is often the case, action is only taken in response to crises. We should be concerned now about fresh water supplies — locally, nationally, and worldwide.
or bath, brush your teeth, flush a toilet, wash the dishes, or God forbid — water the lawn! Given that the average person uses 100-200 gallons per day, would you change your habits? $200 a day for water! That's H2Ouch!

That concern is what we will face in the not-too-distant future, assuming the status quo continues.

Why does the Phrenicea vision paint such a bleak scenario? Because it is doubtful that current attitudes toward fresh water will change soon enough. As is often the case, action is taken only in response to crises.

It is our intention to promote "water awareness" and to convince visitors of this site that fresh water is a precious resource and that having a plentiful supply is vital. Below is a brief overview of "fresh water facts." For an in-depth presentation of the concerns, an excellent source is the special coverage presented on the Scientific American website.

Snapshot Facts About Fresh Water

Obvious Uses Not-So-Obvious Uses Sources Threats
  • Bathing & hygiene
  • Drinking
  • Washing
  • Irrigation
  • Sanitation
  • Fire fighting
  • Recreation
  • Manufacturing
  • Cooling
  • Generation of electricity
  • Landscaping/Aesthetics
  • Animal husbandry
  • Political maneuvering
  • Precipitation
  • Rivers
  • Streams
  • Lakes
  • Ground water
  • Aquifers
  • Wasteful use
  • Inefficient use
  • Sewage
  • Chemical run-off
  • Population growth
  • Terrorism

With the uses many, the sources fixed and the threats increasing in severity, we should be concerned about fresh water supplies — locally, nationally and worldwide. In parts of the world it is already a critical issue. It is estimated that 16% of the world's population — about one billion people — do not have adequate access to fresh water (almost half lack sanitary sewage facilities). Unless the lackadaisical attitudes change, the problem will magnify to 40% within 25 years.

As a consequence, the 21st century will see water become more important than oil was in the 20th century. More than just finding new sources — there's an entire network that involves collecting, purifying and distributing fresh water to all; not to mention the handling of waste water in an environmentally responsible manner. Water will become so important that the wealth and strength of a nation will be based on the robustness of their waterworks infrastructure.

How can you as an individual begin to help?

Become involved. Contact your government representatives. Become afflicted with "Water on the Brain." Spread the word. But most important; Pretend you were to pay $1/gallon the next time you take a shower or bath, brush your teeth, flush a toilet, wash the dishes, or God forbid — water the lawn! Begin to use less water than the average person. Set an example. Prevent H2Ouch!

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