The Norman Transcript

Opinion

February 10, 2013

Think long-term in Norman water debate

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

Water is the most valuable resource in the world. Currently, there is a severe drought in many parts of the United States, and it is causing a huge environmental and economic problem. Ground water levels are at historic lows. In Norman there is currently a water ban that restricts unnecessary water usage — such as watering lawns in the middle of winter.

Because water is integral to economic development, the water shortage must be addressed, or higher costs associated with drought could have a detrimental impact in Oklahoma. I believe that the water shortage stems from many different sources, but the two main reasons for the water crisis in Oklahoma are climate change and our attitudes regarding water usage.

Climate change is the rising global temperatures and the differing climate and weather patterns caused by human behavior. This leads to decreased precipitation and in particular, Oklahoma. This drought is causing the city of Norman to purchase water from Oklahoma City because the city’s consumption is greater than its supply.

To solve the water shortage issue, attitudes toward water consumption must be addressed. Americans use the largest amount of water per capita compared to the rest of the world.

An average American family uses around 400 gallons of water per day. This excess consumption of water has led to food and water shortages, increased prices of water, and higher prices of holding and transporting water when the water demand exceeds supply and water has to be transported.

We must look at how our habits further exacerbate the problem and how buying water from other cities and short-term water bans is not addressing the long-term issue.

We as citizens of the world need to become more efficient in our water usage and not do things such as water lawns when the grass is dormant or taking excessively long showers.

Reflect on how our actions today are going to affect future generations. Are they going to be able to have access to water? Or will our excessive consumption create a shortage that cannot be fixed by simple means? Water habits need to change today for the children of tomorrow.

SARAH SANDEL

Norman

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