2009.09.23 13:02 2009.09.23 13:02 | Civic Participation

Rainwater: a Treasure? A Worry?

It was raining unusually hard, as if the effects of Climate Change were really making themselves felt. Actually it felt good to be watching raindrops trickling down the windowpane. The raindrops are might have been falling a thousand or ten thousand years ago, wetting a woman’s lips. The water which exists all over the earth is exactly the same as the water in the beginning of the world.

Dt. Michal Kravick , a Slovak Hydrologist who works with the NGO People and Water, says that water evaporated from plants, the earth’s surface, marshes, rivers, lakes, seas comes down to the land in the form of rain or snow. The water is easily absorbed into the soil and forest and circulated again. However, nowadays water often falls onto a street or building and it can not be absorbed into the soil but flows into the sea directly because of urbanization.
Finally, the amount of water that exists in the rivers and on the land which evaporates from the land is decreasing. This is also why rainfall is reducing in landlocked counties. This results in a vicious circle of water shortage. In order to balance the circulation of water, the amount of water being absorbed into the sea has to be exactly same as the amount of water evaporating from the sea.

Rainwater is the only way to get water without loss and harm to people. It makes up just 0.5 % of the water existing on the earth but it is recyclable. These days water is getting precious so we can’t let rainwater go into the sea.

Firstly, we should alter our facilities and systems to make full use of water. For instance, there are several things you can do with your toilet bowl. You can put a brick or bottle filled with water in toilet cistern. It is also good to install a flush handle which can sort urine and feces.
If you catch rainwater in a bucket and filter out impurities, you can flush, wash your face, take a bath, do you laundry, water flowers and make a pond with that water. I really hope there will be a new law to install water-saving rain buckets in every house and school along with a device for fresh water in every building.

During my childhood, whenever it was raining, buckets were put out under the roof. We cleaned the court yard, washed jars, watered plants that and paddled in that water.
I used to wash my hair after the rain.

It’s time to challenge the misconception that water is an unlimited resource that we can use whenever we need it. Let’s change our lifestyle in order to make a balance between the amount of water supplied and required.

Jeong Mikyung (Member of Green Korea)

What is your water foot print size?

Using a cup when you brush your teeth
Taking a shorter shower
Repairing a leaky faucet

These are ways of saving water that many people know well.
Do you think that is enough?

How much water do we need to produce the things we eat and use?
A Water Footprint is an index of the water used by humans.
In Korea, the water foot print of each person is 1,179,000 liters.
(Half of one international–sized swimming pool)

Find out how much water you use and how you can save water with your family.

The amount of water hidden in food:

  • an apple : 70 liter
  • a cup of coffee: 140 liter
  • an egg : 200 liter
  • corn 1kg : 900 liter
  • wheat 1kg : 1,350 liter
  • sugar 1kg : 1,500 liter
  • a hamburger : 2,400 liter
  • a cotton t-shirt : 2,700 liter
  • rice 1kg : 3,000 liter
  • chicken 1kg : 3,900 liter
  • beef 1kg : 16,000 liter

www.waterfootprint.org

 translated by Joen Mihyun
Proofread by Simons Chloe Jane

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