Water is an essential factor in the development of terrestrial life and in the evolution process of humanity. This element is the main responsible for the life of all living beings and directly affects the environment, history, energy, technology and economy of the planet. Throughout history, water has conditioned the lives of peoples and has been a key factor in the establishment of population centers until the industrial revolution, at which time it gave up its position in favor of communication channels. On the other hand, it is an important source of non-polluting energy and the main geodynamic agent, capable of being the protagonist in the current formation of the terrestrial profile.
Water is a poorly distributed natural good. This phrase summarizes the serious problems that it causes humanity either due to its excess or its lack. The World Health Organization (WHO) calculates that 80% of the diseases that affect the population are related to the purification of water such as gastroenteritis, onchocerciasis; However, the fundamental problem stems from water scarcity (loss of arable land) or from excess that causes severe flooding (loss of crops, livestock or habitats).
Uncontrolled economic development plans have caused underground water resources (thermal streams) to be exploited extensively in many areas or hydrological plans have been abused, further exacerbating the situation. Changes in climate and deforestation exacerbate the greenhouse effect problem and favor the increase in global temperature. This can have a series of consequences that are difficult to assess with regard to the location and liquid volume of the circulating water, but they will possibly cause serious imbalances and disastrous accidents.
On the other hand, water has a great thermal capacity, that is, it conserves heat very well, which helps to reduce temperature differences in various places. In addition, its high surface tension facilitates the phenomenon of capillarity, by which plants absorb moisture and salts from the soil. It is worth mentioning that the body of living beings is formed in its largest proportion of water, this element constitutes 70% of our body.
The world as we know it today is threatened with death. Will the forests, rivers, seas, the landscape in which it currently lives be maintained? or future generations will know only a desolate landscape as a legacy of a society that failed to adopt the necessary measures so that the earth, as it has for millennia, remains alive. The results of the various investigations advise that the incidence of man in the different natural processes of the planet be reduced as much as possible, so that effects as worrisome as accelerated climate change can be controlled.
The first world conference for the conservation of the environment, sponsored by NN.UU, was based in Stockholm in 1972. As a result, and gradually, many countries, including the United States, have created special agencies for conservation and special legislation in this regard. Indeed, awareness campaigns on the need to conserve nature are being heard and habits of energy saving and collaboration are beginning to be put into practice in restoring ecological balance.
On the occasion of the world environment day, is celebrated on June 5. Certain communities in many countries undertake popular actions of reforestation, cleaning of a deteriorated space or simply learning and enjoying nature; all of them aimed at sensitizing public opinion about the seriousness of environmental destruction and its conservation. Equally, the application of control or rectification measures is more and more frequent, both in industry and in other sectors, with the aim of avoiding environmental contamination such as purification of the contaminating source, impact studies of new products and projects on the environment before its mass consumption or execution is authorized; but above all the long-term planning of the exploitation of natural resources.
It is a proven fact that currently water is wasted and that the greatest waste is produced by agricultural irrigation. If it were watered by techniques that contemplated the volume of water necessary for the growth of plants, humanity would save 60% of water. And this would be achieved with the application of the sprinkler or drip system, this would be very economical. Some states in the United States with a shortage of elemental liquid use these systems; Arizona applies the concept of water saving to all levels of consumption, thus reducing industrial water consumption by each production unit by 70% and intends to take advantage of wastewater for use in irrigation.
An important aspect regarding the sanitary issue and that of rationalization is the purification of wastewater from domestic or industrial use, before it is discharged into lakes, seas or rivers. These waters are treated in treatment plants through mechanical processes such as decantation and biological or chemical processes such as sludge activated with bacteria. These sludge’s obtained in this process are used in two basic ways; those without poisonous substances are used as fertilizers and the poisonous ones are eliminated by incineration at very high temperatures.
Regarding the treatment of "black tides" caused by oil spills into the sea, the solutions would be to provide ships with the necessary conditions to avoid accidents as much as possible. Indeed, it has been verified that most of the ships dedicated to such transports do not meet the necessary safety conditions, as happened to the North American ship Exxon Valdez off the coast of Alaska in 1989. Likewise, it has been detected that the human failures causing such claims come from the composition of the crew itself due to their diverse origins, which is why the ships become "towers of Babel" where the orders of the officers are, on many occasions, misinterpreted.
Now, research by microbiologist R. Colwell, who was president of the Maryland Institute of Biotechnology, has shown that the application of genetically engineered microorganisms to clean up the "oil slick" is an effective method, on all if the mishap occurs in warm waters, where bacteria are more active.
On the other hand, the spills of crude oil and heavy oils, carried out by the ships in their cleaning tasks, constitute a higher percentage of 80% than those caused by the "black tides" and at the same time present greater detection difficulties. Remote sensing systems are used in the United States, using airborne remote sensors, installed on light aircraft or space satellites. These sensors allow detecting, controlling and identifying the source of the spill; the results indicate that the waters of the countries that have such control systems suffer less spills than those that do not.
In recent years, the creation of an ecological tax has begun to take shape; this consists of increasing the amount of certain polluting products such as gasoline and water by a small percentage. This tax would serve, for example, to cover the costs of water purification or to mitigate the effects of pollution. In this sense, it is worth mentioning the conversations carried out in the American community at the end of the 90s. The protection of the environment, although it causes a rise in the cost of production, involves the production of numerous jobs, a fact that has become in manifest in much of the United States and Canada that have adopted these policies.
With the growing demand for industrial protection companies specialized in protection and control equipment, and for the recycling of industrial and domestic waste such as glass, paper, plastic ... the commitment to waste recycling, provided it is applied in a rationalized way, can become a benefit in the short term to cover job demands.
Usually, when ecological catastrophes are mentioned, the causes for the improper and abusive exploitation of the planet's natural resources, nuclear accidents or chemical leaks due to the negligence of protection and security systems or major catastrophes are mentioned above all. natural like volcanic eruptions.
In general, environmental aggressions caused by the impact of wars. For example, during the war between Iran and Iraq in 1988, a minimum of 545 leaks were recorded, caused by the sinking of oil tankers, to which must be added the blasting of crude oil pipes in the bombings of the oil refinery. However, public opinion was not really aware of the impact of the war on the environment.
In hydroelectric power plants, the kinetic energy of the water from rivers is used, and in mountain states with rivers they are an important source of energy supply. The first hydroelectric plants were built at the end of the 19th century and are still a good formula, since the water they use can be used because it does not pose any risk of contamination. An interesting alternative is tidal power plants; In them the energy developed by the tides is used, that is to say, the difference in level between high tide and low tide is used. The first world power station with these characteristics was Saint Malo on the French coast where the tides reach 16 meters.
Mass tourism and carried out without rational planning can cause irreversible damage to the environment. In response to this tourism, ecotourism was born, a new way of enjoying nature, which has as its premise respect for it. It is actually a new concept of traveling, designed primarily for those people who long for direct contact with nature and who want to make an alternative trip avoiding conventional travel and tourist destinations.
In the United States, unused railway routes are being recovered, the route of which is ecologically interesting. The reconversion of the railroad into a path allows the journey to be made on foot, without any type of polluting vehicle, along an easily accessible path by which they can even circulate people in wheelchairs; somehow they can enjoy the landscape and the great number of natural parks that exist, in which the wealth of flora and fauna stands out. Ecotourism is not only focused on North America, it is worldwide and has achieved great development in countries like Venezuela, a country that has an exceptional ecological heritage and endless natural areas for the enjoyment of its visitors.
It is not necessary to go to a great architect, who projects a modern house under ecological concepts, to save energy. It is enough to isolate leakage points such as doors and windows and in some cases walls, ceilings and floors. However, it should be required that such principles be considered in all projects. When designing, it would be necessary to consider adapting the building to the microclimate of the area, to make the most of sunlight or, otherwise, to enable the building so that it does not require excess energy. It has also been shown that if a house is ecologically well designed, it can save up to 85% of the energy it would need if it were not conditioned.
Modern societies require high energy consumption. The drawback of fossil fuels is that they are depleted, and their consumption creates serious ecological and environmental problems. Nuclear power plants that promised to be an alternative have turned out to be uneconomical, largely due to the need for complex safety systems to prevent catastrophes and the difficult problem of eliminating polluting waste. Currently the challenge is to find alternative energy sources that are non-polluting, effective and that promote energy savings.
The amount of waste generated by man, together with the proven limitation of land resources have led to the possibility of recycling certain types of waste being considered among the solutions. The case is clear in what affects the role, since its implementation motivates a drastic reduction in the need for raw materials. It must be considered that in order to obtain a ton of paper from wood pulp, 20 trees must be cut, and between 50 and 150 tons of water are also used.
It is also recommended to recycle wood for the realization of furniture from other obsolete ones, thus avoiding the burning and destruction of the old ones, as well as the use of clothing either for use as second-hand garments or for its use as recycled raw material, through a transformation of the traditional industries of the textile sector. With regard to plastics, some of which are highly difficult to destroy because they are mixed with other raw materials in order to make them harder, various investigations are being carried out in search of alternatives that solve the problem. It is essential to be able to proceed with the recovery of the different materials that these are selected and treated in the most appropriate way for their nature. In this way, it will be possible to reduce the degree of contamination derived from its treatment, while trying to achieve the maximum degree of use possible.
On the east coast of the United States, the possibility of applying a tax to products that contain polluting elements or elements that are difficult to treat, such as plastic containers, glass, and mercury batteries, is being studied. Said tax would be dedicated to its treatment and reduction. Likewise, the idea is handled that it is the industrialists themselves who produce or use them who are responsible for their disposal or recycling.
Nuclear power plants and all the waste resulting from the use of nuclear energy pose serious problems of storage or disposal of the polluting products they generate. Obsolete reactors, containers, drums, armature cements and deposits, plastics, lubricants, metals and porous materials, all impregnated with radioactive isotopes, must be buried in wells and deep mines or deposit them in large fully hermetic concrete structures. Despite everything, there is no complete assurance that they will not contaminate in the future.
The old belief that the sea regenerates everything gives way to the current certainty that this property of ocean waters has become saturated and the immense and free landfill voices alarm, with the closed seas being the most threatened. Furthermore, the enormous amount of waste dumped into the sea is the result of long-distance transport, thanks to the action of marine currents, so that they can affect territories and waters outside the emission of pollution. Most of the waste from human activities ends up in the sea, but the most important contaminating factor is oil spills and radioactive substances.
Never pour something that is not biodegradable down the drain. When it is necessary to use something toxic in the water supply such as paint, Pool chemicals, motor oil; try to dispose of it correctly. Don't litter down the toilet. Throwing objects that don't degrade like diapers, wipes, and plastic tampon applicators can cause problems in your sewer system. Over time, these objects can end up in streams, rivers, or other bodies of water in your area, where they can affect fish and other wild animals. Instead of throwing them in the toilet, throw them in the trash.
Saving water is an important way to help preserve it as a global resource. Adopt the following habits to conserve more water throughout your home: Turn off the taps when you don't use the water, like when you brush your teeth, don’t water the lawn excessively. Make sure that the sprinklers are turned off during the rains, Water your garden before the sun rises or after it has set to reduce evaporation, which causes a waste of water and when you shower make sure that it is not greater than 10 minutes.
Avoid evaporation of water by covering the pool when possible. This will also prevent it from getting dirty and you will not have to resort to cleaning devices as constantly; Check that there are no leaks. To do this, indicate the level of the same and after 24 hours, check that the level is the same. Turn off the automatic filling device while doing this check.
One of the easiest ways to save money a year, is by reviewing the electricity we do at home. Simple daily acts can help us achieve this, and we will notice it in our pockets and on the planet. One of the lesser-known measures, which represents savings of up to 40% on our electricity bill, is to switch to nightly pricing. You just have to be a consumer with less than 15kW of contracted power. If you turn on the washing machine at night, or work outside the home, this is your rate without a doubt. You just have to be very careful with kitchen hours before 10:00 pm in winter or 11:00 pm in summer, so do it better in the morning, since the oven can prevent you from saving everything you could. The same with the stand by of electronic devices.
As for electronic devices and household appliances, the famous stand by represents an unnecessary energy expense that we note on the invoice. A TV all night on standby, can spend as much as 2 hours running. Therefore, it is essential to unplug those that we will not use (including smartphone chargers). Some appliances, those with transformers, consume electricity just by being plugged in and can mean 20% more unnecessary spending per year.
In summer, it is key to take certain customs, such as keeping windows open or ventilating at night, when temperatures drop, and closing during the day, cooking less and spending less. In the case of having air conditioning, the ideal is at 24 degrees, or not lower than 22. If we descend to 21 degrees, the expense increases considerably.
As you can see, with these tips to save water and electricity, getting it is much easier than it seems. We simply have to let ourselves be carried away by our common sense. I assure you that if you follow these tips you can reduce the consumption of water and electricity in your home in half, which will be appreciated both for your pocket and for the environment. And don't forget to recycle future generations will be grateful!