Water Stress in the US

drops-of-water-627277_640You might not expect it can happen here in the US, but water stress is heading this way.

Water stress is defined as meaning either the demand for water exceeds its availability or poor quality restricts its use. We know that Flint, MI may have sufficient water supply, but if folks aren’t able to drink it, a water stress (and financial stress) situation exists.

As reported by MSN, “When stress occurs, according to the European Environmental Agency, the deterioration of freshwater resources soon follows and this can lead to illness. For example, a quarter of the globe’s population lacks the necessary resources to access anything more than a feces-contaminated source for their drinking water, risking diarrhea, cholera, polio, and other diseases.”

As we’ve previously written, decentralized water systems may be the best way to protect your family and business from water stress, which according to reports, will hit many areas of the United States within the next 20 years – if we don’t change the way we design and build public water systems.

Will Decentralized Water Systems Flow in the Wake of Flint Crisis? (originally published on 3/10/2016 at RainBank.info)

Matt Grocoff, a writer, speaker and recognized leader in net zero energy and living buildings asks: “What if there is a better way for Flint and other cities to harvest and deliver life-enhancing water?

We’ve talked about why decentralized water systems are important to our public safety and why rainwater collection is a simple source for decentralized water, and how it can be the answer to our aging, centralized water systems. With expected increased demand from high density development and the high cost of upgrading infrastructure to meet those demands, water is becoming a commodity.

In his February 15th post for Michigan Radio, Can Flint crisis inspire better water systems for all of us?, Grocoff goes on to say, “There is no doubt that Flint’s water crisis is an unqualified failure of democracy, but it is also a century-old failure of design and systems thinking.”

With a progressive train of thought, he asks, instead of replacing all of the pipes, how about building a better system? This practical approach has some of us scratching our heads because it makes perfect sense.

As science and technology evolve, we should adapt new practices for designing and building public water systems – for the sake of our health, longevity, sustainability and affordability.

Don’t be caught high and dry when water stress arrives in your community. Learn more about rainwater collection and how you can either replace or supplement your dependence on well or city water supply. Of course, we encourage you to follow this blog (click the box below to subscribe to notifications), or visit the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (ARCSA.org) for free and timely information about rainwater harvesting.

Take Action to Make a Difference

Catherine Fenton, Artist
Catherine Fenton, Artist

March 22, 2016 marked another World Water Day, a day set aside for international observation and opportunity to learn about water related issues, be inspired to tell others and take action to make a difference.

A Human Right

There are many non profit organizations and devoted individuals that dedicate themselves to the belief that clean water should be a human right.

A Luxury In Africa

The inspiration of artist Catherine Fenton is “women without the luxury of running water that waste hours everyday fetching water. Time that could be spent on education or more productive work.”

Chris Steele-Perkins
Chris Steele-Perkins 1981
SOUTHERN AFRICA. Lesotho. School children during a rainstorm….

In Africa, some women literally carry the burden of collecting water for their families. Clean water sources are often far from their village, demanding that women and girls take action to walk for hours to retrieve their family water supply. The journey can be long, taking hours, subjecting women and girls to carry heavy loads of water on their heads. Education for women can becomes secondary to the needs of hauling water for the family.

Enjoy this African Rain Song

A Precious Resource – Think Twice About Wasting Water

fountain-352251_640So many of us may have become complacent about the water that has seemingly so easily flowed through our faucets and garden hoses. In the United States, drought and aging infrastructure served as not so gentle reminders that clean, safe water does not flow freely if we don’t take steps to preserve this precious resource. Flint, MI has poisoned its citizens with lead, which has lead to increased testing – and lead and other toxins are being found in public systems countrywide. In other parts of the world, clean, safe, flowing water is a luxury, which many do not have.

We commemorated World Water Day this week. Life cannot be sustained without water; as such, we believe it is a basic human right. According to UNWater.org, ‘World Water Day is an international observance and an opportunity to learn more about water related issues, be inspired to tell others and take action to make a difference.”

The theme for this years’ World Water Day was water and jobs, and putting a spotlight on how quality and quantity of water can change lives and livelihoods – and even transform societies and economies.

Think about it –installing a small rainwater system for a home or business can vastly improve the lives of residents, employees, families – but also the overall public by reducing loads on public systems. Private systems can still be connected to city or well water, which would be used as backup to rainwater systems, if and when necessary.

But enough about us, we really wanted to share some amazing photos, that will make you think twice about wasting water. The extraordinary shots document how folks around the world access water. We encourage you to take a look, and then think about how we may be heading in this direction if we don’t start thinking about how we can better manage our access to safe and clean water – and the hazards that threaten our aging public systems.