Weather for Two: You and the Environment

How is the weather over there? Weather for two or weather for just you?

A lot of people love the rainy season because of its ability to keep the environment cool, especially after a hot day. And many times, all we want to do is sleep in that cold atmosphere, wrapped under the duvet. The single-pringles are hugging their pillows, and a reader like me is probably hugging her books close.

However, there's more to rainfall than just falling water from the atmosphere to the earth's surface. There's more to rainfall than the drops that hit your roof.

Rainfall is the form of precipitation that consists only of liquid water and is the most important source of freshwater in large parts of the earth. It is a requirement for different types of ecosystems because it is a part of the water cycle that maintains balance and nutrition across all ecosystems. Rainfall maintains balance by collecting water vapour which is formed when water evaporates from our seas, lakes and land. Then it redistributes the water back onto land. In truth, people do appreciate it when it rains. Well, unless the rain catches you off-guard at an outdoor event, without an umbrella or a raincoat.

Let's travel back to years before today, while we were a bit (or a lot) younger. To the times we tried to catch raindrops with our hands, wondering why they fell through our palms.

Other times, we would sing: 

"Rain rain, go away

Come again another day

Little children want to play.

Rain rain, go away."

You are probably singing it, right now.

Whilst this is a seemingly harmless song we all grew up with, let us imagine for a moment that rain actually went away forever.... 

First of all, we would probably forget the taste of odorless and tasteless water while we try to adapt to salt water.

Did you know? Of all the water on earth, only 3% of it is usable freshwater, and 97% of it is saltwater usually found in oceans. Water is a "free" gift of nature ehh? Well, potable water is much scarcer than it looks. 

Freshwater is the most suitable drinking water for most terrestrial organisms. And of all the freshwater on earth, only about 30.3% of it is accessible to humans, the rest is frozen in glaciers. 

Our current sources of getting the freshwater accessible to us, include surface water(from streams, rivers, and reservoirs) and groundwater (through wells, and water pipes). Groundwater is simply rainwater/surface water that seeps into the ground.

Without rainfall, food would also become so expensive and almost unaffordable because almost all the plants in the world cannot survive without water. And so rainfall—which is the most effective, yet the cheapest form of watering—would cost more than a fortune if substituted for irrigation systems, therefore, skyrocketing the prices of food items. Thus, agriculture would become very hard to sustain.

We need freshwater to survive, perform our daily activities, manufacture materials and even produce hydroelectric power. Farmers especially love the good showers on their farmlands. Rainfall is the power supply that "recharges" our sources of usable water and prevents them from drying up.

It's all weather for you until excesses begin to enter it. As we are in the rainy season, constant rainfall is not unusual. But excess rainfall could indeed lead to flooding, especially when there are no proper water outlets. The cold is also reportedly more intense than usual due to climate change and it could as easily have you under the weather. We have a lot to do if we want to enjoy this season in an eco-friendly manner.

"How do I make the most of the rainy season?" You may ask. It's okay. We are committed to helping you live an eco-conscious life. Next week, we will show you how to enjoy this rainy season, take proper care of your environment, and also avoid rainfall-related disasters.

Fiyinfoluwa Bamgbose 

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