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How We Use Water

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CAWST: Water Hygiene and Sanitation Presentation, 

February 2011

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Water for drinking is only a small portion of our overall water usage.  So many aspects of our daily lives require water, making it our most critical resource for survival. 

The amount of available water on earth fit for our water needs is considered finite, but due to increasing factors like more people on earth, migration into cities, water pollution, and increased agriculture, water is becoming more and more scarce. 


All of this activity contributes to rising emissions, which affect climate change. Climate change has severely affected the global clean water supply, as well as causing droughts, flooding, pollution of natural water resources, damage to infrastructure and ecosystems. People living in undeveloped or poor countries are especially vulnerable, as they already have unstable water and sanitation systems.


We should all do what we can to save and cut down on our usage of water

Household Needs

Over the course of a day, a household will consume a lot of water. Water is used in cleaning and preparing food as well as being an ingredient in the food and beverages we consume.  We also need water to clean ourselves and our homes.


Farming requires massive amounts of water and agriculture irrigation accounts for 70% of water use worldwide. Water is used to irrigate fields for growing crops to feed the world's population, but also to grow feed for animals raised for human consumption.  Water is also required to keep the production of meat fresh before reaching consumers. 


Water is important in industry too, as it is often used to run machinery, cool down components, and is in itself an important element used in products like drinks, cleaning products, shampoos, chemicals and cosmetics.  


Swimming, boating, fishing, sailing and many other recreational activities all depend on water. 


Boats, ships and ferries provide an important mode of transport to move people and goods around the globe. 


Water plays an important role in all types of energy production, including hydropower, coal, ethanol, natural gas and oil, geothermal and nuclear. 

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