Are you drinking 8 glasses of water a day like you have been told? I hope not. Nobody seems to know where this unfounded advice came from; yet, it is held as gospel truth, despite the increasing scarcity of water reaching a crisis point throughout the world. Thanks to sound research by leading academicians like Dr. Askew at the University of Utah, the “8 glasses of water” fallacy doesn’t hold any water; even the National Geographic Magazine, October 2010 issue has addressed this issue. It turns out that our food, when eaten fresh and unprocessed, is about 70% water; so, we get plenty for our needs just by eating healthy. We only need to drink when we are thirsty. But tell that to water addicted Westerners (read “Mutant Message Down Under”) and alcoholics. The problem worsens when we drink bottled water from rapacious companies that overcharge for unregulated water that often is no better than tap water. And think of all the plastic we expose ourselves to and our environment with this practice. But these issues are a drop in the bucket compared to other rampant misuses of water like irrigating lawns in the West. Our drying world cannot take it much longer. Soon, entire groups of people will be forced to immigrate in search of water, triggering significant economic and political problems, even wars. If you live in some rain-soaked region like the Midwest, you may not appreciate the seriousness of this problem in the West; neither do most people where I live in Utah. In fact, I am sure my neighbors don’t appreciate my xeroscaped yard. Fortunately, cities like Las Vegas are starting to pay people who get rid of their lawns; this is why Nevadans don’t appreciate Utah’s pontification about water conservation as the two states battle for aquifer water straddling both states. The Utah Medical Association agrees that water conservation must be seriously addressed. Many doctors feel we need to raise the public’s awareness on impending water shortages that will have a significant impact on our health. So, what can you do to mitigate the suffering that looms in our dry horizons? Stop drinking so much bottled water and get a filter at home to drink your own tap water; carry that water with you in a glass container when out and about. Drink it before you go into a restaurant, where you could refuse the customary glass of water and order a healthy drink like oolong or green tea. Drink only when you are thirsty. Eat fresh instead of processed foods; eat less meat. It takes 14,000 liters of water to raise one pound of meat. Consider getting rid of your lawns if you live in the West. Don’t wash your car at home. Do it at a car wash that recycles water. And contact your “for rent” politicians for possible legislation to stem the flow. And best of all, don’t shower alone….