Contributing Monkie G Living Staff Monkies
Published on January 22, 2008
I admit it. I drive a truck to work, by myself, on a 15-mile, one-way commute. Not very green, right? There is a benefit, however. I get to listen to NPR’s “Morning Edition” and gain beneficial insight into the otherwise blasé news world. An interview last week with permaculture expert, Brad Lancaster, turned my attention to the interesting world of water harvesting – capturing rainwater and graywater (household water without human waste) for use in gardening and other applications.
Water is perhaps a more valuable resource than even oil – humans don’t need oil to survive – and may replace oil in the 21st century as the most important “What do we do now?” question. Clean, fresh water is a scarce commodity and we have an opportunity now to get ahead of the curve in conserving water, forestalling yet another apocalyptic crisis.
The problem: modern societies spend enormous amounts of energy drilling for, re-routing, and purifying water to make it “safe” for human consumption — only to waste much of it washing clothes, doing dishes, and watering lawns.
The solution: capture the water from the sky to reduce the amount of purified water used in households and recycle graywater so that it doesn’t need to be re-purified.
What’s important is that there really is plenty of clean, fresh water to go around. The earth is the best purifier of water and it dumps lots of it on human societies everyday. We must include water harvesting activities into new developments everywhere, just like we include sewer, phone and power connections. It will make us all more sustainable, more independent, and safer from large-scale threats.