In the last few years, there have been several places in the world that have suffered from severe drought. Naturally, draught is caused by prolonged shortages in the water supply, however, in later years they have gotten more frequent and worse. This has its reasoning in global warming and severe climate change. Making it even more necessary to drink water from plastic bottles. Two of the places that have been affected the most are Australia and South Africa. How does the drouth affect the people and places it hits?
One example of a town struggling with their water supply is Murrurundi. Murrurundi is a town located in New South Wales, Australia. Day zero is the day the town ran dry and no longer had the water to sustain itself. The town now survives on tanked and transported water, which is brought in every day from other cities. Every day their water supply must be carted in by 5-6 water trucks. The transported water is poured into something which looks like a mud pool in a reservoir. However, because of the water´s high content of chemicals, the habitants do not let the water pass their lip. The water restrictions are caused by drought triggered by global warming.
The habitants are now struggling to survive on a strict level-six restriction. They are telling the ABC News that they do not drink the town water. This leads us to the conclusion of them buying bottled water as their drinking water, and use the town water for other purposes instead, such as watering plants for example. Plastic bottles are a huge global issue, and pollutions the environment. In Norway, we have a system where we recycle all the bottles we use. The machine we use is called a reverse vending machine. These types of machines exist in every grocery store. If you give your bottle(s) to this machine, you get a percentage of the original price back. This is called “pant”. It is printed out as a “cupon” which you can either cash out or use in the store. You basically make money on recycling! The sum is not colossal, it is around two or three Norwegian kroner. However, when you collect more bottles you get a higher percentage back.
This is what the pant logo looks like.
The world consumes over 20 000 plastic bottles every second. In 2017, Norway recycled around one billion plastic bottles, making us the best country in the world at recycling plastic bottles. We challenge you to start thinking about doing the same.
In addition to the reverse vending machine, we have an option at our school, where we put our plastic bottles in yellow boxes. The “pant” money from these bottles, is donated to Lesotho, a small country within South Africa
Another example of a town that has struggled with its water supply in Cape Town, South Africa. In 2017 and 2018 Cape Town was faced with a huge water shortage issue. Cape Town’s dam water levels had been on a decline since 2015. However, in 2017 and 2018 the water crisis reached a new low. The water levels were between 15 and 30 percent of the total dam capacity. This water issue has taken a turn for the better, and in 2019 the water level had risen to about 45.6 percent of the total dam capacity. What saved Cape town from this crisis was strict restrictions. For example, were filling swimming pools, fountains and washing cars banned, and water use was restricted to 50 liters per day. To put this in perspective, in 2016 the average water use in California was 321 liters per day.
The lack of water is a serious crisis, however, there are several things we can do to reduce the severity of the problem. Plastic and other types of wasteful materials are just making global warming worse. So, if we reduce the number of plastic bottles we use and throw a way we can make a smaller impact on the global warming. If you are faced with a problem similar to the one in Cape Town and Murrurundi one solution could be to ration the water supply. Then people will only use the amount of water that is necessary per day. This will hopefully help with the rising of the water levels in dams.
Written by Thea D, Elise, Andrea, and Thea S