From The Vault: The Water Chronicles

Water is being seen as the next great war for which we will fight for and against each other to get access.

Water, water everywhere? Maybe so, but it remains a precious resource that the modern world seems keen to squander in increasingly inventive ways. This week we suggested a single Superbowl ad could give 140,000 people water for life, so we thought a deep dive into our watery archives to resurface more about the stuff of life was in order.

Less than one percent of all the world’s fresh water is available for human use in the form of lakes, underground sources, and reservoirs. The rest is soaked into the soil, too deep underground to reach, or manifests itself in the icecaps of the world’s polar regions.

 – 6 Things You Didn’t Know About Water

 A single bottle of water generally runs about one to two dollars. In some cases, such as at concerts or amusement parks, one bottle can cost up to nearly three dollars. Even if bottled water is bought in bulk, the price still averages around .50 to .89 cents per bottle. Filtered tap water is essentially the same product and costs a fraction of the price.

 – 9 Reasons To Ditch The Bottle Once And For All

The toilet of tomorrow will not flush about on its own pot of porcelain, nor will it necessarily compost. The toilet of tomorrow will be a self-regulating and mindful machine, eminently cognizant of the water crises ahead.

 – Toilets Designed For The Water Crisis Ahead

It takes time and energy to pump the water out of the ground, bottle it, label it, market it, sell it and transport it. (Time and energy that is doubling up on what the government is already doing in supplying you with clean, safe, free tap water.) It’s bad enough when the water is from a Scottish spring and sold in London or from two states over in the United States, but when you’re selling Evian from France in Australia and Fiji water from the South Pacific in Denver, there’s something seriously wrong.

 – Stop The Bottle In 2009

Keep a few large containers under the bathroom sink and in the kitchen to fill while you’re waiting for the hot or cold to kick in. You can use this room-temperature water for your houseplants and herbs, or for rinsing delicate dishware, mopping the floor and washing dusty windows.

 – 3 Easy Water Saving Tips

Even though each person only requires 48 liters of water on a daily basis, individuals in the United States use an average of 500 liters, those in Canada an average of 300 liters and those in England an average of 200 liters.

 – 10 Amazing Facts About Water Use Worldwide

Images: laszlo-photo, FreeWine, calliope, Roca, daviddesignTeo and Prabhu B.

Mike Sowden

Mike Sowden is a freelance writer based in the north of England, obsessed with travel, storytelling and terrifyingly strong coffee. He has written for online & offline publications including Mashable, Matador Network and the San Francisco Chronicle, and his work has been linked to by Lonely Planet, World Hum and Lifehacker. If all the world is a stage, he keeps tripping over scenery & getting tangled in the curtain - but he's just fine with that.