Notes on conserving precious resource–water

 By Brent Frazier, mayor City of Pelican Rapids 

“Water, water everywhere, / nor any a drop to drink.” They words are familiar to many of us from “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” which text was penned into a poem in 1834 by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. 

The poem tells of three men on the way to a wedding celebration when the Ancient Mariner stops one of the men at the door and tells of a disastrous situation that happened in the life of the mariner. 

The words refer to sailors who are stranded on a becalmed ship that is surrounded by the seas of salt water that they cannot drink. This ship is running out of its supply of fresh water, but the salt water cannot prevent their death from the continuous dehydration of their bodies. This then becomes a situation of being not able to partake or benefit from something that is in their presence. 

The writing is a very long, long poem in which it teaches the lesson of loving and respecting God and all of His creations. The poem has spiritual implementations of which the mariner is telling and trying to teach others not to make the same mistakes, but in this column we are going to look at the nature of the element called ‘water.’

Without water—no life 

The term ‘water’ could be replaced with other nouns. When the noun is defined as ‘water,’ we realize that which is needed to sustain life, as without ‘water,’ there would be no life. Thus, due to the fact of the pollution and impurities of much of the earth’s ‘water,’ much ‘water’ is not potable or fit for human consumption.

Looking back in time and into the future, we realize that however much water that was created when the earth was formed, this same amount remains with us to this day. Not any less water now or any more water for us in the future. Thus we need to be the caretakers of this valuable natural resource. 

On a side note, we all remember the periodic table of the elements that hung on the wall of our high school chemistry classroom (mine was in the upper chemistry classroom of Pelican Rapids High School teacher Mr. Richard MacGregor). All elements are arranged by atomic number, electron configuration and chemical properties.

Water is most plentiful compound on earth

The chemical formula for water is H2O, meaning that a water molecule consisting of one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms that are connected by covalent bonds. Water is the most plentiful compound on Earth and is essential to life, as without water all forms of plant, animal and human life would fail to exist. 

We know that approximately 70% of the earth’s surface is covered by water (something that we can visualize when looking at a globe or a map of the earth), but we bemoan the fact that only 3% of it is defined as potable water. A very grim reminder that ‘sends up a red flag’ that each of us, as a user of water, needs to do our part to conserve and manage the water that we come in contact with each and every day. 

Conserving water important

To be good stewards of the earth and of the water, we need to adhere to guidelines and proper measures, whereas we leave behind for our children and grandchildren, that same concept which was left for our use and consumption. We must follow steps to conserve and refrain from polluting our waters that sustain all forms of life. 

Next week we will learn about the water sources and the treatment of the water provided for the businesses, residents and visitors of the City of Pelican Rapids.

10 simple ways to prevent water pollution include

• Dispose of toxic chemicals in a proper manner.

• Do not pour fat or grease down the drain.

• Use phosphate free detergent and dish cleaner.

• Dispose of medical wastes in a proper manner.

• Keep your vehicles from fluid leakage.

• Cut back on chemical usage.

• Plant some trees.

• Help clean up lake and river frontage.

• Use less plastic containers.

• Share knowledge about water pollution with others.

10 simple ways to save or conserve water at home include

• Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth.

• Only run the washing machine and dishwasher when you have a full load.

• Take a shower of 5 minutes or less

• Use a low flow shower head and faucet aerators.

• Fix water leaks in your home.

• Install a dual flush or low flow toilet.

• Don’t over water your lawn and don’t water during hot sunshine times.

• Install a rain barrel for outdoor watering of plants.

• Monitor monthly water usage on your water bill.

• Share knowledge about saving water with others.