As cool, calming and tranquil as water can be, the universal solvent has been the hot subject of many discussions since the summer. Dakota Access Pipeline, that’s a water problem. The Southeast’s record breaking drought since the 1960s, that’s a water problem. Flint, Michigan’s water scandal, that’s a water problem. Even 2016 being the hottest year on record, that’s a water problem.
SIDEBAR: I'm also sharing photos from my trip to Joshua Tree, with my beloved 'community.'
OK Ree, why do you keep talking about water?
We can thank our entire existence on two things: the water and the sun. Water is the source of life, and the means from which all living things grow. You know what makes Earth so unique from all other planets in the universe (excluding traces on Mars)? Our abundance of water, that’s what. Earth has an overflow of living things because of water, and we cannot live without it. It’s the reason why we have fruitful crops, waterways that host a cadre of species, and provide food for other species living on land.
What does this have to do with Climate Change?
EVERYTHING, what we are experiencing— this growing scarcity of water— is a result of climate change. As the planet Earth becomes warmer, it’s harder for for clouds to form and retain enough moisture to create rain. The lack of rain means dry soil, stalled plant growth, dried up creek beds and such. This could drastically alter ecosystems and drinking water aquifers.
Why can’t we live without water?
Water makes up 65% of the human body, and helps to maintain our body fluids including maintenance of body temperature (so your body doesn’t over heat), digestion and absorption of food and circulation of blood. Another function of the water is to remove toxins from our body, but in many ways polluted water can increase toxin levels rather than decrease them.
Is the water I drink on a daily basis good to drink?
Not for real, for real. I mean it’s drinkable, you won’t die. BUUUUTTTTT there are chemicals (like fluoride, nitrate and arsenic) found in water samples all the time. And although you may not be directly effected by contaminated water, contaminated water anywhere means contaminated water everywhere. Think about it like this, all water is interconnected, hydrogen and oxygen molecules that have no ending. Beach water at one time could have been cloud water, which at one point could have been mountain top water which could have been toilet water. And If I can go all metaphysical on you, water is the conduit that connects all human beings. Your drinking water one day, my toilet water the next.
You mean other people’s water can impact me?
Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying! Let’s take Flint, Michigan, what some are referring to as the Flint Water Crisis, but I’d like to think of it as a scandal. Any who, Flint residents have been exposed to high levels of lead through their water supply. The increased levels of lead was due to pipe corrosion occurring in the Flint River (which was the water source). Although I didn’t find any recent studies on the effects of lead in the Flint River, lead contamination can lead to a unbalanced biodiversity in bodies of water where one species dies off, then another species, which may have been prey increases and over populates the area, by killing off organisms that are sensitive to lead, and increasing organisms that are not.
What do you want me to do?
- Be conscious of your water source. Find out where your city’s water source is. Is it a nearby river, spring, is it treated groundwater?
- If possible get your drinking water form a local spring. Here’s a map of where you can find a spring near you.
- Understand that the current system for aggregating and dispensing water to residents isn’t sustainable. Metal pipes are likely to decay and expose water users to lead, water treatment plants add chlorine and fluoride into water to remove bacterium, it’s NOT OK to drink chlorine and fluoride.
- Know that you can’t depend solely on bottled water. One reason being that spring water is bottled by private companies with less regulations than city regulated water. You could think you are drinking water form a mountain valley, when it’s just regular tap. I talk more about that here, don’t be fooled.
- Show gratitude for water it's the best thing we've got.
Peace form the Fort.