This year AppStorm is taking part in Blog Action Day to raise awareness about clean water and water conservation.
In this post we’ll take a few minutes to consider how the wonderful world of web apps affect water resources and how you can use them to benefit not only yourself but also the water enriched world we live in.
About Blog Action Day
So, what is Blog Action Day?
Blog Action Day is an annual event held every October 15 that unites the world’s bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day with the aim of sparking a global discussion and driving collective action. This year’s topic is water.
A few facts about water you may not know, provided by Blog Action Day.
- Unsafe drinking water and lack of sanitation kills more people every year than all forms of violence, including war.
- More people have access to a cell phone than to a toilet.
- Every day, women and children in Africa walk a combined total of 109 million hours to get water.
- It takes 6.3 gallons of water to produce just one hamburger.
- The average American uses 159 gallons of water every day – more than 15 times the average person in the developing world.
“Technology and Water are Linked”
As David states over at Mac.AppStorm, technology and water are linked, though it’s incredibly easy to forget or never even make the connection in the first place.
In more or less every power plant around the world, water makes up a substantial cost. It cools the incredible heat produced by oil and gas power stations, and turns the hydro-electric turbines in others. Without water, we wouldn’t have any power – it’s as simple as that.
– David Appleyard, Blog Action Day: Get Your Mac Involved!
Web apps make a tremendous impact on energy consumption, though most of us never even think the connection through. Believe it or not but every time you run a Google search, you’re contributing to water usage, which isn’t to say that you shouldn’t be using Google search. In fact, you should be using Google search and other Google products to replace older and more energy consuming forms of obtaining data.At Google’s Efficient Computing site, Google states that it would take 850 Google searches to reach the equivalent CO2 emissions an average daily newspaper requires for production. As David stated earlier, water plays a big role in the production of energy, which also ties into CO2.
So what does that mean? You’d be saving energy, and in turn water, by choosing to use Google’s services rather than less efficient options.
One reason cloud computing has grown in popularity so significantly over the last few years is it allows large organizations, such as Google, Apple, Amazon and others, to build more efficient computing methods. Distributed computing (e.g. applications on each individual’s computer) just isn’t capable of being optimized to the same level as centralized computing (e.g. Google’s data centers), not to mention most data centers are upgraded and maintained far more often than most people’s home computers.
Those who run large data centers are able to make their systems far more efficient than the home computers we all use daily. So, how do you take advantage of that? Web apps!
Read more about Google’s effort to improve water consumption efficiency and bring clean water to those who need it.
Web apps, for the most part, use remote data center’s data processing and storage capabilities rather than your computer’s, which translates into more efficient use of energy. So by allowing data centers to handle the bulk of your tasks (email, task management, Twitter, etc) number crunching, you’re choosing a more efficient method of energy usage and in turn reducing your overall contribution to the consumption of water.
Web Apps for WaterHere are a few good apps for calculating your water consumption and helping you increase your water usage efficiency.
- H2O Conserve water consumption calculator
- National Geographic water footprint calculator
- MedHelp water consumption tracker (for personal health)
- Google gadget for tracking water and other nutrition consumption
There may not be that many web apps dedicated to helping you track or monitor your water usage, but you can help by using the power of web apps to raise awareness and educate others. It’s as simple as a blog post, a tweet or maybe mentioning it on Facebook!
DonateClean water is a serious issue for a large portion of the world’s population, though many of us in more developed countries may not think it. It’s easy to contribute to helping those less fortunate and even get something neat in the process. At water.org you can purchase a high quality CamelBak water bottle, with a portion going towards their work, or even just make a simple donation.
- Water.org is a U.S.-based non-profit organization committed to providing safe drinking water and sanitation to people in developing countries. There are various ways to get involved with their work.
- charity: water is another non-profit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations. Backed by a handful of famous faces and celebrities, they guarantee that 100% of public donations directly fund water projects.
- The Water Project is a non-profit organization that’s bringing relief to communities around the world who suffer needlessly from a lack of access to clean water.
- The Unicef Tap Project provides access to safe water and sanitation facilities while promoting safe hygiene practices in more than 100 countries.
Share Your Contributions or Ideas!
If you’re making an effort to conserve on water, boost your energy efficiency or simply mulling over some ideas to do so, we’d love to hear about it in the comments below.
Many of us take water for granted and couldn’t even imagine a life where water is in short supply, but there are many people in the world that live a water-scarce life daily. It’s important for those more fortunate to take a step back, evaluate how we impact our environment and make a contribution to more efficient water consumption practices. You might also consider helping others who may not be as fortunate by donating.