Back in 80s when my state was run by a man dubbed "Moonbeam" I spent my time with earnest environmentalists. One afternoon a group of fifteen or so sat cross-legged in a circle and passed around a mug of fresh water.
"What's in the mug is all there is," we were told, "so make it last to the last person."
And we did.
In today's paper, an article claimed that California farmers may limit the vegetables grown this season due to the current drought. At the same time, there's an increase in personal food production. Gardens are back, even though water supplies are low. Communities need to learn to harvest water.
We must save the rain that falls from the sky, save the water we use to bathe ourselves, and save the water that we let run off into our rivers, lakes and oceans (when we squander water in this way, it picks up pollutants and causes damage to our natural stocks of seafood.)
Luckily there are simple water harvesting tips already available. Creating urban forests is one solution and there are others . We have technologies--some shockingly simple, that we haven't bothered to use yet but will need to utilize soon.
In developing or struggling countries the need for clean water is dire. A small device, the LifeStraw, is a water purifier that anyone can carry and can save many, many lives. There are also simple pumps and well devices available--but these not yet affordable for most people in such countries.
Improving human health and and health of our oceans and cities through clean water technologies will create secure cultures in which the populace is fed. Harvesting water will create communities that are self-reliant.
Water will be the next great commodity--or it could continue to be a birthright. Technology should be used to preserve this birthright.