A leaky faucet. Dripping pipes. A forgotten motor and a cascade of water down the building. Water splashing off the roof of water tankers.
Every day, we see scores of incidents, little and large, that result in loss of water. Some, like the leaking tap, can be fixed straightaway. Some may need a few more steps to correct the issue.
But there are some, that go largely unnoticed that cost us a great deal more. But are left to continue on a day to day basis.
Fracking. The controversial process of drilling into the surface of the Earth, by injecting volumes of high pressured water along with sand and chemicals into the fissure to release gas. We are talking of massive quantities of erstwhile clean water being mixed with chemicals and used in non-palatable ways. Anything from 2 million to 4 million gallons of water are used in drilling one single shale gas well. In litres, that comes to 7 5,70 ,82,356 to 1,51,41,64,712 litres of water. To put this into perspective, an individual uses around 130 – 150 litres on average per day.
Can you now imagine the amount of water that is being taken out of the water table by this single act? This heavily contaminated water, with its host of chemicals, also seeps back into the ground and mixes with the ground water, poisoning it for miles and miles.
Aren’t these numbers enough to make your mind boggle?
Let me give you another example. A rather common, more accessible one.
Almond milk. How many of you drink almond milk in lieu of cow’s milk? A vast number of the world’s almonds are grown in the water-starved American state of California. Did you know, it takes one gallon of water to grow one almond? So, imagine how many gallons of water have gone in the next carton of almond milk you get your hands on?
But hold on. This doesn’t mean that you tack a pair of devil’s horns on the poor nut and shun it. Livestock are worse water guzzlers than any plant products. Around 90 gallons of water are needed to make one gallon of cow’s milk.
Does this mean you stop drinking milk or eating or go looking for fuel, altogether?
No. It means that you be even more mindful of the water you have, the water sources around you and look after them with care.
And fix that leaky tap.