Protecting the water you drink is your business

What is your contingency plan if the water from the tap is unusable?

Thomas C. Sheffield | 8/12/2016, 9:36 a.m.
What is your contingency plan if the water from the tap is unusable?

What is your contingency plan if the water from the tap is unusable?

How would you do things like bathe, flush your toilet, wash clothes or cook and prepare your food?

Do you have money allotted for purchase of bottled water or filters required to clean your water?

Have you considered a water catchment system for rainwater?

Have you asked your city, county and state leaders what they are doing to protect this resource or what plans are in place if a disaster happens?

What stance is the business community taking on the water issue?

We should not take our clean water for granted. There are more than 300 trillion gallons of water on the planet. Almost all of it is salty seawater and unpotable for most plants, animals and people. Only three percent of the earth’s water is considered fresh water and much of that is found in icecaps and glaciers.

Tennessee has more than 60,000 miles of streams and rivers. According to the World Water Council, more than 1.1 billion people worldwide lack access to safe drinking water, 3.4 million people die every year from preventable, water related diseases and 3,900 children die every day from water-borne diseases.

Access to clean water contributes to overall health and adds value to the community. Minority communities are disproportionately threatened by pollution and it takes longer for these communities to recover from any disaster.

Each of us can take action to protect our environment. Start by buying local and supporting businesses that are environmentally responsible.

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation works to protect our rivers and streams. Take a look at their website and identify ways you can actively participate in positive change and hold people accountable for the decisions they make in regard to our natural resources.

(Thomas C. Sheffield owns Nashville-based Thom Sustainable Consultants. Contact him at Visit Follow him on Facebook: WordsactionChange Initiative and Twitter: #wordsactionchange.)