A Comprehensive Overview of Freshwater Usage in the United States
Freshwater is vital to human survival. Our ancestors had the keen awareness that it was strategically advantageous to settle near rivers. This understanding drove the transition from tribes of early hunter-gatherers into civilization as we know it. Along with being a consistent source of drinkable water, rivers provide fertile land for hunting, fishing, agriculture, and transportation.
After thousands of years of civilization, many of us no longer need to dwell near freshwater sources to experience the benefits. Advances in technology have drastically changed the means of water collection, treatment, and distribution.
It took ingenuity, money, and cooperation to establish our current freshwater distribution network. This complex process conveniently brings freshwater to homes and industries across the country – cleaning, feeding, and powering a nation. But convenience can make us complacent.
With our attention more divided than ever, it’s easy to push impending problems to the side. Our current rate of consumption is not sustainable, and there is an increasing need to reduce our collective water footprint. Solving the riddle of sustainable water usage will require awareness, education, and bold solutions. As in the case with our early ancestors, it will take a concerted effort. Our survival depends on it.