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Whats the expiration date on our worldly water?

I am sure many people out there are very concerned about the present water crisis. There is no doubt: We definitely have a shortage of drinking water.

But the real question is- when does water actually expire? Or does it? Indeed, this is truly an interesting point to ponder. In this post, I will tell you a little about the water cycle, and explain how there really is NO expiration date on water. You got that right! None!

The water cycle works by condensation, evaporation, and precipitation. This is exactly how fresh water is made from salt water. The water we have been using ends up flushed or washed through storm pipes and eventually lands in the oceans. From the ocean, the evaporation process takes place, using the heat from the sun to basically suck up and vaporize the water, bringing it skyward. When the water is in the sky, it is suddenly in a cooler place, causing it to condense- or get smaller than it was before. There is a lot of wind in the world, and that wind pushes the vapor around, eventually turning vapor into clouds. The clouds might empty (precipitate) onto the oceans, or they may come on to the land, where it sinks deep into the earth in large underground water caves known as aquifers.

We get our drinking water from aquifers. The water that falls from the sky first hydrates the plants and trees, frogs and other animals, and while they are drinking from the puddles, lakes, and streams, the same water is sinking deep into the earth through the surface soil, down through the rocks, and into the aquifer, being further purified every step of the way. BUT our aquifers are in trouble. They’re draining.. We are using that water down there faster than we are allowing it to be replaced.

We have many great strategies that can be used to contain, conserve and reuse water that has either naturally been purified, or is storm water, and is still usable for watering lawns and flushing toilets, and that sort of thing. In the next few days, more articles will be posted about how to make use of these methods. Meanwhile, we should be thinking about how much we do waste, and how it comes back to bite us on the tush later on.

Aquifers are actually massive support systems for the land we live off of- and when they are depleted, we see sinkholes. Sinkholes are what happen when the ground no longer has billions of tons of water to hold it upright. Imagine putting a tiny flea circus on a piece of poster paper, and laying that piece of paper on a bowl of water. The paper itself, with the water below, is strong enough to keep the paper flat, and allowing the fleas to live on dry land in their circus tents. Now, take some tape and tape the sides of that paper to the sides of the bowl so that it’s flush with the water. Use a straw and drink a cup of water… or whatever amount you waste when you leave the faucet running while brushing your teeth. That tiny little ferris wheel will no longer be supported by the paper, and will SINK down to whatever level the water is at in the bowl. The lighter items MAY stay on top, and not be damaged by this paper sinkhole, but that doesn’t mean they are safe spots. Move the ferris wheel a few inches (plots of land) to the side, and a sinkhole may very well happen again.

Now that sinkhole dynamics have been explained, perhaps a few minutes less time in the shower, turning the faucet off when we brush, along with cystines and roof gardens are sounding more appealing.

While there is no real expiration on water itself, there is most definitely the possibility that while the ocean levels are rising, partly from our dumping of waste and storm water, and partly due to the ice melting up north, there is also a strong possibility that our land levels- sea level- may be going down, without us even noticing. I am no geophysicist- just a passionate tree-hugger with a love for H2O- but I hope that this article left you with something to think about. Water, water, and more water.  Especially the fresh, clean, yummy, made by nature kind we take for granted.  Follow this blog for in depth instructions on how to conserve and recycle water! Your children and grandkids will thank you later! ❤


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This entry was posted on May 7, 2012 by .
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