It takes 872 gallons of water to produce 1 gallon of wine. Scaled down, it takes about 34 gallons of water for a 5 fluid ounces of wine, according to Huffington Post. But how is this even possible? How come it takes so much water to make wine? What is drought-stricken California doing to conserve water while remaining one of the largest winemaking regions in the world? The water consumption required to cultivate wine includes water used on the vines, water used in the winery and rainwater (crops consume the rainwater). The grapes for the wine require constant irrigation especially in drought-stricken areas such as California and parts of the Mediterranean region. It is important to note that wine grapes require about one-third of the amount of water used to grow almonds, so I guess we should all drink less almond milk and more wine? In the winery, the water use is mostly focused on sanitation. The barrels, tanks, presses and crushers are cleaned and disinfected after every. single. use. Even if the the equipment will be used to make the same type of wine. Wineries are, however, working to use less water. Many wineries, especially in France where crop irrigation is legally regimented, have converted to drip irrigation and today’s advanced technology allows for hoses that can sense when to turn off. Many wineries have adopted onsite water treatment systems so all that water used to clean the equipment can be recycled at the winery. I think it’s safe to say that wine will continue to be consumed all around the world but sustainable technologies and practices must be adopted in order to drink wine guilt free.
The article I chose is from the Environmental Protection Agency’s website, and it discusses how we use water in our every day lives. However, the most striking piece of information I received from the article comes in the first line when it mentions that less than 1% of the water on Earth is available for human consumption. The other 99% is found in salt water oceans, freshwater polar ice caps, or just too inaccessible for human use. Water plays an enormous role in our everyday lives whether it be for human consumption, for livestock, or crops such as corn. The article also mentions that the average American family uses more than 300 gallons of water per day with about 70% of it used indoors.
I believe that we can make a significant difference in water usage indoors by limiting how much water we use in the showers. We could use a timer to minimize water usage in the shower so it’s not running idly which could save almost fifty gallons per day alone. Water is also used to manufacture our goods and even grow our food while maintaining livestock. Nearly half of the water used is for thermoelectric power and irrigation also requires a significant chunk of water power.
Management of water has also become a growing concern over the past decade, and forty states have told the Government Accountability Office in a 2014 report that they expect to have water shortages over the next ten years that are unrelated to drought. These strains on water could resort in higher water prices, expensive water treatments, and increased summer watering restrictions. I believe that because of these water restrictions, water bottles are so popular since they are easily accessible. On average I can see the Union College community consuming over 5,000 bottles every day.
The word sustainability has been used frequently throughout my life. My father has worked in the waste business my entire life and has instilled the values of conservation and protection towards our environment. His company has always revolved around way to reduce waste from communities by picking up garbage more than once per week, as well as pushing for a stronger urge towards recycling. At a young age, my father would bring me to the transfer stations and teach me about the importance of recycling. He would take me to the landfills in South Florida to show me how waste can be broken down over time or unable to be broken down. This led to his desire to lead a more sustainable life rather than continue down an environmentally destructive path. The knowledge that my father has given me has shown me the difference that we can make, as well as the fact that there is still time to fix the mistakes that we have made. Throughout my entire life, I have tried to live with a sustainable mindset while doing my part in making sure to reduce waste.