Although desalination to seawater might seem like an easy way to get more water to meet our needs, there are cheaper and much more sustainable ways.
As the world is grappling with some of the worst droughts on record from this summer, governments, and communities are looking for new and sustainable ways to solve the water issue.
Ocean desalination is a major water source for many countries and even cities all around the world. There are even over 20 desalination plants in California and a few in Florida.
Although taking social water and desalinating it might seem like a good idea, evidence shows that ocean desalination might not be the best option to address water shortages. Desalination leads to the death of aquatic life, and it makes the water much more expensive.
When water is taken from the ocean to go to desalination, plants, fish, and other sea life can get caught in filters and valves, and smaller sea life can even go through the screens and to the plants. These plants also discharge wastewater as well as brine. This can kill aquatic life if it’s not done properly, and not to mention the amount of energy that it takes to run these plants has a devastating effect on the planet. Desalinating water also increases the cost of the necessity.
Thankfully, there are many other options to address water shortages that do not harm marine life or the environment. There are so many ways that people get to use less water than they are now, they just don’t know how or don’t realize how much they are using in the grand scheme of things.
We can also focus on recycling wastewater, storing stormwater, and cleaning up polluted water supplies.
Whether or not desalination is the savior for water woes is a complex debate, and answers will probably vary depending on who you are asking. You’ll find there are activists, scientists, public agencies, governments, and citizens on both sides of the debate.
Desalination is a wonderful testament to the human mind and inventive capacity, but it may simply be a very advanced and expensive method for maintaining our ignorance of the natural world while existing within. We may be able to provide freshwater in places where it didn’t previously exist, but what’s the point if people continue to remain ignorant about how to better use the water we already have? In the face of a crisis, this may certainly be a valuable technology, but we have not even yet begun to address some of the issues that are causing our water shortages in the first place. And that’s an issue we need to work out through education and conversation around sustainability rather than throwing money into more expensive technology.
The single BEST thing you can do to save water is to stop eating meat and all animal products. Growing animals for livestock takes a massive amount of water. It takes nearly 660 gallons of water to make just one burger, which is equivalent to nearly two months of showering for the average person. On the other hand, it takes 1,000 gallons of water to make just one gallon of cow milk. Factory farms cause mass deforestation, account for 37 percent of global methane emissions, and use 70 percent of the world’s freshwater.
Studies have shown that eating more plant-based can add over a decade to your lifespan, it can save the world’s forests, it benefits the environment, and it is significantly better for your health! Nations around the world have urged people to eat more plant-based to curb climate change.
We highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 20,000 delicious recipes, it is the largest meatless, plant-based, vegan, and allergy-friendly recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.
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- You Can Save Over 200,000 Gallons of Water a Year With One Simple Choice
Easy Ways to Help the Planet:
- Eat Less Meat: Download Food Monster, the largest plant-based recipe app on the App Store to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy. You can also buy a hard or soft copy of our favorite vegan cookbooks.
- Reduce Your Fast Fashion Footprint: Take the initiative by standing up against fast fashion pollution and supporting sustainable and circular brands like Tiny Rescue that raise awareness around important issues through recycled zero-waste clothing designed to be returned and remade over and over again.
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- Do What You Can: Reduce waste, plant trees, eat local, travel responsibly, reuse stuff, say no to single-use plastics, recycle, vote smart, switch to cold water laundry, divest from fossil fuels, save water, shop wisely, donate if you can, grow your own food, volunteer, conserve energy, compost, and don’t forget about the microplastics and microbeads lurking in common household and personal care products!