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Water, water, everywhere?

Johns Hopkins wants you to value the H20 you use
Posted June 4, 2014
Image: Luke Best Image: Luke Best

Every drop of water has been here since the Earth began. While water covers 70 percent of the Earth, it is not infinite. Gone are the days of turning on our faucets to a seemingly inexhaustible supply of clean, fresh water. Yet throughout the Western world, we treat water as if it is a cheap commodity – leaving sprinklers and leaky faucets unattended and creating new generations of contaminants.

Johns Hopkins Magazine recently examined this paradox and the big questions facing Kellogg Schwab and a collaborative team of researchers:

How do researchers get people to see water as finite, and how do they best convey that a host of innovations can save them from disease, deprivation, and the worst thirst imaginable?

The answer, they believe, is predicated upon one emerging idea: Technology alone will not solve the world's water problems. Schwab is effusive in explaining that for scientists to be successful in reaching people around the world and helping them maintain water resources and stay safe from sanitary woes, the issue must be attached from a variety of angles.