Are you ready for the hot, sunny promise of summer? As you prepare for the joys of the season, don’t forget: when temperatures rise, your consumption of resources does, too.
National Geographic has released several online tools to help us have an environmentally-responsible and water-conscious summer. You can refresh your knowledge of the water cycle with their convenient guide.
You can also take a more active role in water conservation by calculating your water footprint. Did you know the average American consumption of water is 2,000 gallons a day? That’s more than twice the global average. The water footprint calculator can help you see all the places your water consumption hides—like what you eat and what you buy.
Finally, step up your resource awareness by learning about how the Colorado River is in danger from overuse. Human use of the river and its tributaries for agriculture and beyond has physically changed the shape of the river, and vastly depleted its scope. If use habits don’t change, many see a parallel between the Colorado River and The Nile in Egypt. If action isn’t taken soon, the West could see water shortages grow. You can help with a simple pledge to help keep water in the Colorado River Basin.
To keep an eye on river resources in Richmond, check out a series of articles about conservation tips and suggestions from the James River Association. If you want a more hands-on impact, you can learn about how to become a River Guardian for your hometown in one of our past articles.
Whether you take an active role in water conservation national- and world-wide, or simply cut down your own water consumption at home, responsible use of this precious resource will help us all have a fun, well-hydrated summer.
Article by Lauren N. Colie, Print/Online Journalism and English major at Virginia Commonwealth University. Lauren is Editor-in-Chief of Auctus, VCU’s Undergraduate Research Journal, Lead Teaching Assistant for a research-writing course, and Science Matters special correspondent.