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How Climate Change Affects Water Access
How Climate Change Affects Water Access

How Climate Change Affects Water Access 

Do you ever wonder how climate change affects water access? How often do you think about water as a precious commodity? Do you turn on your tap and thank the heavens that clean water comes pouring out in a matter of seconds? Climate change and water supply are intrinsically linked. That’s why the team at Crystal Clear Water is here to take a few minutes to discuss how climate change affects water access and why we should care. 


Water and Climate Change 

Climate change is a water crisis. We feel its impacts through worsening floods, rising sea levels, shrinking ice fields, wildfires, and droughts. It’s already affecting water access for people on a global scale through severe droughts and floods. Global temperatures continue to rise and are a vital contributor to this problem. Rising global temperatures cause water to evaporate in more significant amounts, leading to higher levels of atmospheric water vapor, resulting in more heavy, frequent, intense rains in the coming years. 


More Rain

What happens when it rains more? Often, this shift results in more flood frequency and intensity because the soil cannot absorb the excess water. What does this look like for cities? In cities, that runoff can overwhelm sewage treatment facilities, pushing untreated sewage into the local water supply. What does it look like in rural areas? In rural areas, excessive rain can push pesticides and animal waste into drinking water. The runoff will drain into nearby waterways, gathering contaminants like fertilizer on its way. Eventually, the runoff will travel to larger bodies of water like lakes, rivers, and the ocean polluting the water supply.

When runoff carries fertilizers into lakes and oceans, they promote the rapid growth of algae. This results in algal blooms clogging coasts and waterways with green, red, blue, or brown algae clouds. The blooms prevent sunlight from reaching underwater life. This diminishes oxygen levels in the water. Toxins can keep off fish and other aquatic animals, kill humans, and make people sick. In addition, these toxins are hazardous because they can survive purification, contaminating tap water indefinitely. 


The Glaciers

As the ocean warms due to rising global temperatures, freshwater glaciers melt, creating rising sea levels. The rising sea levels mean salt water can more easily contaminate underground freshwater-bearing rocks called aquifers. Studies and simulations conducted by climate scientists predict climate change to impact up to 50% of freshwater supplies in coastal communities. That’s a lot of people without fresh water! They have found that salt water can penetrate the water table underground, creating brackish water and dehydrating those who consume it. In addition, scientists discovered that sand texture plays a part. Depending on the sand texture of a given shoreline, mixed underground water can travel much further than it does above ground. This can potentially affect the water quality of households up to 60 miles from a coast. 

While we can remove salt from freshwater through desalination, it is an energy-intensive, costly process. Places like North Africa, the Middle East, and the Caribbean use desalination to produce freshwater out of necessity.


The North 

The Northern Hemisphere normally holds an abundance of freshwater due to high snowfall levels. However, as temperatures increase, less snow falls, resulting in less water flowing to local reservoirs after winter. 


The Part We Play

The Part We Play

It’s easy to become overwhelmed by all of the doom and gloom! However, there is always hope. We can do many things every day to mitigate climate change’s effect on our water access.


CO2 Usage 

Although this does not seem to have much to do with water, people can start biking and walking more and trying to drive less (adding less CO2 to our atmosphere). Along the lines of reducing CO2, you could invest in growing your own fruits and vegetables or buying locally grown produce. This reduces your carbon footprint as produce is often transported to grocery stores from far away by trucks, which add more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.


Reduce Water Consumption

You can also reduce unnecessary water consumption in drought-prone areas. For example, opt for a rock garden instead of feeding your water-hungry grass.



In addition, you can support businesses, organizations, and corporations that are actively taking a role in our planet’s health. Support industries that switched from fossil fuels to renewable, cleaner energy sources. Avoid purchasing from businesses that are putting profit above our planet.



You can also contact your state and national representatives and ask them to support policies that mitigate climate change. While doing this, you can continue raising awareness and advocating for smart water practices and usage in your community.


Take Your Own Action 

Finally, we know that everyone relies on safe drinking water for survival. So take the initiative to understand what comes out of your tap and play your part to help regulate it—research where your local water comes from and what impacts its upstream source. Trusted companies can also test your water and tell you precisely what is in it. If you don’t like what you discover is going into your tap water, consider a whole-house water filtration system or under-the-sink water filter to remove many contaminants.

While all these solutions seem small, small actions performed by many people add up! At Crystal Clear Water, we work hard to ensure water remains a bountiful resource for our Southwest Florida community! We would love to hear your thoughts, ideas, and opinions on helping reduce climate change’s impact on our water supply. Comment below and call us today to learn how we can help purify your water.

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Published: April 3, 2023
Author: Crystal Clear Water
Categories : Uncategorized