National Ground Water Awareness Week

7th - 13th March 2021

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Above is an image I took with my drone in Berwick, Victoria, Australia.

To me, it depicts how society is built around fresh ground water, without it we simply wouldn't survive. 

 

Fresh groundwater is essential to human life, it should be in everybody's best interests to save it from all drying up and to keep it clean and safe to drink for all.

The greatest threats that our fresh ground water face includes, deforestation, animal agriculture and conventional farming.

Deforestation when we clear cut forests (usually for the land needed to support the ever expanding animal agriculture industry) this leaves the earth exposed, topsoil becomes loose and when washed away contaminates fresh waterways and river systems.

Animal Agriculture usually begins with the initial impact of deforestation but then goes on to further contaminate our fresh water systems with the huge amounts of animal waste run off which often contains antibiotics and digested GMO crops. When agricultural animals are kept in feedlots we still need to use a huge areas of land and water to grow their food which is often mono-cropped GMO grains or soy beans that are often sprayed with synthetic fertilisers and pesticides which also deplete the soil and contaminate our waterways.

Not to mention that the industry consumes 34-76 trillion gallons of water annually!

Conventional Farming is also a threat to our fresh ground water as we have become so reliant on harmful chemical inputs to fertilise crops and control pests due to the lack of diversity and soil quality. These chemicals can run off into fresh waterways and cause contamination.

One billion people have no access to safe drinking water.

5000 people die a day because of dirty drinking water.

  • Animal agriculture water consumption ranges from 34-76 trillion gallons annually.

  • Around 2,500 gallons of water are needed to produce 1 pound of beef.

  • 1,000 gallons of water are required to produce 1 gallon of milk.

  • 477 gallons of water are required to produce 1lb. of eggs;  almost 900 gallons of water are needed for 1lb. of cheese.

Animal agriculture and climate change with a focus on water:

So what can you do to make a difference?

  1. To have the largest and most immediate impact on reducing fresh water consumption and contamination we can change our diets. Particularly reducing red meat consumption and even eventually cutting it out altogether would have a huge positive impact not only on fresh water consumption and contamination but also your own health and the overall health of our planet! 

  2. Reducing or eliminating consumption of other meats and dairy/animal products would save tons of water, far more water than you could ever save by conserving the direct use of water in your home, not only that... changing to a plant based diet comes an abundance of proven health benefits, but there is no need to just take my word for it check out the life changing documentary 'What the Health'!?

  3. Choosing organic or biodynamic produce over conventionally grown makes a huge difference in reducing water contamination and also supports regenerative farming practices that don't deplete our soils. A healthy soil is also much better at retaining water.

  4. Growing your own organic produce is (if possible) is a fantastic way to connect with the earth and understand how important clean water is and how lucky we are in much of the western world to always have access to it. It might seem crazy that I am encouraging you to use more water at home (to grow food) to prevent fresh water depletion and contamination but if you give up meat you will be saving far more fresh water than you could spray on your garden! Growing your own food also brings a new level of freedom and resilience. 

  5. Lastly, to save water in the home you can turn off the tap when brushing your teeth, take shorter showers, don't rinse your dishes, blah blah blah... you know the rest.

Thanks for reading, let's save the groundwater 'for real!'

Written by - Joel Courtidis

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