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"Water, water, everywhere / Nor any drop to drink."
This excerpt from Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere sums up our current watery state. Though many of us take for granted the amount of water available to us on any given day, our collective concern is growing as the majority of our 50 United States face water shortages.
A 2003 report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office predicted 36 states would grapple with water scarcity by 2013. According to Circle of Blue, 18 states expect local water shortages and 16 states expect regional water shortages over the next decade.
Look, I don't want to get preachy, but there is something very troublesome about the fact that the average American uses about 150 gallons of water per day, while the average European uses about 66 gallons, and the more than 1 billion people in the world who don't have adequate access to water use less than 5 gallons per day.
In my first audio interview for Oprah.com, I ask Tom Kostigen, author of The Green Blue Book, to explain our global water challenges and suggest what we can do in our homes every day to improve these scary conditions.
Listen to my interview with Tom now.
I have also tweeted some great resources—learn more about our water crisis on Twitter @simransethi.
Seventy percent of water used within American households is used on lawns. Next week, I'll connect with one of my eco-heroes, Heather Flores, author and founder of Food Not Lawns, to discuss humble ways to reduce the flow and use our lawns to grow food rather than grass.
Simran Sethi is an award-winning journalist and associate professor at the University of Kansas School of Journalism and Mass Communications. For more information on Sethi, visit SimranSethi.com and follow her on Twitter @simransethi.
Published on March 30, 2010