a boots-on-the-ground view of the change that's a-foot

Hydrate or Die

by Tao Oliveto, Carrboro, NC

A few years ago, I participated in an AIDs Ride from Raleigh, NC to Washington, DC. It was one of the hottest weeks of the Summer, with a heat index of 107. I was well-trained and so survived the first 113-mile day, though more than a few dozen people suffered heat exhaustion and were picked up by the sag wagon. What I remember most from that long, hot day is the enthusiastic support crew driving alongside the riders yelling, “Hydrate or Die!”

And so it goes. Water is our most precious resource. Not a human or animal can survive more than a few days without it and as I look around during this continuing drought, it becomes obvious that the trees and plants will also soon need to hydrate – or die. Yet, not much has changed in my area, or in the world, in we are using and abusing the water supply. The local water use restrictions only recently moved from voluntary to mandatory and even then, lawn irrigation systems are running every other day, while car washing services continue to operate day and night.

Never mind Peak Oil, where is the urgency in regards to our dwindling water supply? Conservation efforts are minimal at best as we continue “business as usual”. Our local Public Works has issued a water supply “alert” but not many people I’ve spoken to are even aware of this or, even worse, bother to take it seriously. We need a message with an impact. Raising water rates will have an undeniable effect on conservation efforts, but for some reason, this rarely happens, making our most important resource our cheapest utility – in other words, out of sight – or our wallets – out of mind.

There’s more than 100 ways for businesses and residents to conserve water, which I highlighted a few months ago here. This drought is sad – we’ve lost trees and crops and will need an unreasonable amount of water to refill our reservoirs. We may get some relief soon in the Fall months, giving yet another false sense of security to our lives. It’s time to think about new trends and technology when it comes to water use. It’s past time.

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3 Responses to “Hydrate or Die”

  1. The Tao of Change » Blog Archive » Bathroom Greening 101 Says:

    […] bath salts? Forget it! Baths are so yesterday – just like our water supply. But, if you really need to use a tub full of tap water for a soak, invite a friend and use whole […]

  2. Jerry Ryan Says:

    I don’t often comment on blogs but just needed to stop and say that I like yours.

  3. tao Says:

    Hi Jerry,
    Thanks for taking time to leave this kind comment! Much gratitude.

    Visiting your site at was really interesting, especially since I have a hybrid. I’ll be reading more soon. Thanks for sharing this interesting way to save more gas and emissions. Tao

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