Indianapolis (June 25, 2013) — As climate change becomes an increasingly pressing issue in science, politics, and the media, America’s wasteful water usage is being called into question. Conservationists and agricultural specialists alike are urging nationwide change in policy and attitude. In the July/August issue of The Saturday Evening Post, now available on newsstands, award-winning journalist Barry Yeoman examines our current water situation and what can be done to protect future generations.
According to Yeoman, “we need to stop thinking of this precious life-giving substance as cheap and infinite.” Despite the easy flow of water from our sinks, showers, and garden hoses, in many parts of the country water is becoming dangerously scarce. Yeoman explores what today’s water problems mean for the future and what can be done to promote positive change:
What the Future Holds: Scientists say higher temperatures will cause more evaporation and alter the slow, steady snowpack melts that provide much of the West’s water. Droughts will become more common as well. Meanwhile, demand will increase as farmers and gardeners try to grow the same plants in hotter, drier conditions. Research predicts that 1,020 U.S. counties, mostly in the Great Plains and Southwest, face high or extreme water-shortage risks by 2050 in large part because of climate change.
Community-Wide Change: Ensuring enough water for a growing America will require everyone to pitch in. Farmers will need to reevaluate their crop choices and use more efficient irrigation technology. Cities and suburbs will need to adopt rate structures that reflect water’s true cost and penalize inefficiency. Conservation efforts must also target cultural norms. Yeoman states the city of Tucson has taken ownership of its water problem by creating a culture where people just don’t feel comfortable wasting water, and activities as simple as putting a lawn on your property are met with resistance from fellow community members.
Ways to Save Water: While water conservation needs to span communities, it starts with the individual household. Tips for conserving water include considering alternative lawn options, using energy-saving dishwashers to run an efficient kitchen, installing low-flow showerheads and turning off the tap when brushing your teeth, incorporating “gray water” (wastewater from your tub or clothes washer) as a means for landscaping, compositing, and flushing toilets, and keeping up with fixing leaks to conserve water not being used.
The forces of climate change and human wastefulness seem epic and beyond our control, but Yeoman proclaims we have the power to transform. And now is the time for action. “Surviving the 21st century will mean changing how we all view and use water – treating it like the precious resource it has always been.”
The full article from The Saturday Evening Post is available online at http://www.saturdayeveningpost.com/water-crisis.
About The Saturday Evening Post: For nearly 300 years, The Saturday Evening Post has chronicled American history in the making—reflecting the distinctive characteristics and values that define the American way. Today’s Post continues the grand tradition of providing art, entertainment and information in a stimulating mix of idea-driven features, cutting-edge health and medical trends—plus fiction, humor, and laugh-out-loud cartoons. A key feature is the Post Perspective, which brings historical context to current issues and hot topics such as health care, religious freedom, education, and more.
Tracing its roots to Benjamin Franklin, The Saturday Evening Post mirrors cherished American ideals and values, most memorably illustrated by its iconic cover artist Norman Rockwell. The Post is also known for publishing such literary greats as Ray Bradbury, Agatha Christie, William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Edgar Allan Poe, J.D. Salinger, and Kurt Vonnegut, and continues to seek out and discover emerging writers of the 21st century.
Headquartered in Indianapolis, the Post is a publication of the nonprofit Saturday Evening Post Society, which also publishes the award-winning youth magazines Turtle, Humpty Dumpty, and Jack and Jill.
“As the nation changed, the Post changed, but it looks to its past as a fertile ground for its future”
—Starkey Flythe, Jr, Former Post Executive Editor