Our Dwindling Water Supply

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Throughout the world our water supply has been dwindling, especially potable water. The United States is seeing it most visibly in drought-ridden Northern California. There water is still wasted as if it’s going out of style. Well, it is. The vintage industry uses up endless amounts to grow the grape vines. The specialty food industry uses over 600 gallons of water just to grow one pound of processed nuts we call almonds. As a result, Lake San Antonio, in Northern California is gone, and two others are at risk, currently only around 20 percent left for usage. Even their major reservoirs have only about a year’s worth of supply.

What about Long Island? We have had much rain, yet our potable water supply is also going down the drain. Problems caused by leaky old septic tanks, nitrogen-laden fertilizers used on our lawns, leeching into our water systems, are but a few. Currently, our water is also being consumed by our many green golf courses, expansion of college campuses and the very wealthy new communities using whatever they want or decide they need.

The dilemma of our dwindling water supply is that it is used for many non-essentials while only companies concerned with”water rights,” are waiting in the wings. Throughout the United States we have wasted and polluted millions of gallons of water needed for fracking of natural gas. It has turned the air as well as the water in these areas into wastelands. Thank goodness fracking has been vetoed in New York State.

But there are two questions we will need to face: Which habits and so-called necessities will we decide are not worth our water supply? When will we, the people, turn our dwindling water into a cherished resource that we use with care?

—Elaine Peters

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