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World Water Day

March 21, 2012

World Water Day, sponsored by the United Nations, is observed on March 22 each year. This year the theme for World Water Day is “Water and Food Security: The World is Thirsty Because We are Hungry.”

The average water use of vegetable crops per acre is about 500,000 gallons. Some crops, such as sweet corn, celery, eggplant and bell peppers use almost one million gallons of water per acre of production.

Through the use of the San Antonio Food Bank’s rain water harvesting system, one inch of rainfall captured on the roof of the building equates to almost 500,000 gallons of water for use in the community garden.

Photo courtesy of Lance Cheung

Only 3% of the world’s water supply is fresh and about 2/3 of it is frozen in the Antarctic and Greenland.

With these numbers in mind coupled with residential, industrial and recreational use of water and the geometric increase in world population, it is easy to imagine current and expected shortages of water.

The most important single factor that will aid in the proper management of the world’s water reserves is education.  We must understand the efficient and necessary uses of water; and we must understand the inefficient and un-necessary uses of water.  Nobody likes water regulation, but it is inevitable if we are not proper stewards of water resources.  Proper stewardship can only come with understanding the problem.

Photo courtesy of Lance Cheung

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