Freshwater supplies on Earth
So why is it important to conserve water?
Fresh water is an important, finite, natural resource essential for the survival of every eco-system on Earth.
- 70% of our Planet is covered in water.
- Oceans account for 97.14% of surface water but water also exists in the air as vapour and in aquifers in the soil as groundwater.
- 2.59% is freshwater, of which 2% is trapped in glaciers.
- 0.59% is groundwater.
- 0.014% is in lakes, streams, rivers etc.
This means less than 1% of the water supply on Earth can be used as drinking water!
…in the UK we unnecessarily use 2 billion litres of drinking water every day – just to flush our toilets!
FRESHWATER & FARMING
“Farming accounts for 70% of the world’s use of freshwater that is extracted globally for human use”
-BBSRC – future directions in research relating to food security.
It is important that we conserve our water, and use it wisely; Some countries already face significant water shortages.
Aquaponics recirculates water, so uses up to 98% less water than traditional soil-based farming. Growing in water helps lessen the problems we face with soil erosion too.
The negative effects of conventional faming techniques isn’t just through the shear amount of water used, but the use of harmful pesticides too. “Run off” from fields containing these pesticides and herbicides, poisons the soil and pollutes our rivers and lakes. When this happens, it is called eutrophication and destroys biodiversity, whilst causing other major problems. Algal blooms can occur as a result and use up oxygen in the water, killing native aquaculture such as frogs or fish.