Brian Richter, freshwater scientist with The Nature Conservancy, recently posted his “Four Water Resolutions for a New Year” at National Geographic’s Water Currents. As he notes in his discussion of resolution #3,
Reducing water consumption associated with irrigation – both on farms and in urban landscape areas – is by far and away the most cost-effective means of alleviating water shortages. The potential for water conservation in cities and farms is so huge that it will take most communities decades to exhaust the potential. Only in rare cases will it be economically – not to mention environmentally – justifiable to continue building large water storage reservoirs. The smart money will go toward helping farmers and cities reduce the amount of water consumed in irrigation.
Water plays such an essential role in feeding and nourishing us that the full piece is well- (no pun intended) worth a read, so check it out here.
In the interest of furthering Richter’s first resolution (“… to advance learning about water cycles, watersheds and aquifers …”), let me also suggest that if—like me and most Americans—you aren’t 100% sure of the source of your drinking water, you head to The Nature Conservancy to give their “Where Does Your Water Come From?” map a whirl. Although major cities are covered, the map isn’t comprehensive, so you may need to do a bit of Googling to get the answer for your own home; there are plenty of other great resources at the site regardless. My fellow Wisconsinites can also use the following links to learn more about groundwater and watersheds in our great state.