As we a brand coming from the lake land, water is a topic close to our heart. The word Népra even means water and water regions. To say water is important is an understatement: it is one of the basic human needs. The Earth is called the Blue Planet, and yet, freshwater resources are running low. At the same time, melting Arctic ice is having a drastic effect on changing climate everywhere in the world. We all know that if the levels of the world’s oceans rise too much, millions of people lose their homes and their livelihoods, and many countries will go under water.
In the past years, water, and saving it, has become a huge topic even in Finland, the land of a thousand of lakes. It has long been debated that water is going to be considered the next oil. Did you know that even 40% of Finn’s water footprint comes beyond the Finnish border because of all the imported items we buy?  Finland is not unique here; the majority of the western countries share a similar statistic. The major sources of hidden water are disguised within the clothes we wear and the food we eat.
However, the amount of fresh water stays approximately the same inside the circle . Did you know that 97% of the globe's water resources is salt water? 2% is literally frozen in snow and ice. Ice is multidimensional with its textured crystalline forms. Ice is also a solid form of water. In Finland, our thousands of lakes turn to ice every winter, if not forever at least at the moment. In contrary to water, ice can be modified in different shapes and forms. It symbolises transparency, and the double meaning is brilliant. Transparency is what we need in our world, not least of all in the textile industry. At the same time, our opaque element is melting with accelerating speed in the Arctic.
We are used to thinking that water is an unlimited resource. It is true that nature's water cycle is pretty amazing, but that said, if 97% is salt water and 2% is snow and ice, then a tiny 1% is fresh water. Moreover, 70% of this 1% of fresh water is used to grow crops.  We don’t know about you, but these numbers shock us.
Where does this problem come from? It is clear that issues at this level are not born overnight. In fact, our relationship with water has been changing through the centuries. In the 1700s the circle of water was seen as something divine. In the 1900s, people adopted a more systematic point of view towards the water; that it is something humans can control and use for their own needs. This has led to over-consumption of water. Agriculture and industry need water resources to produce food and commodities. In the past decades, we have simply consumed more and more in general but are less and less conscious of the implications this causes. 
Water resources are divided very unevenly but despite this, they are nonetheless often used in agriculture and industry, in regions where water is extremely scarce and people do not have a reliable source of drinking water, let alone for other households uses that would be considered essential in many countries This leads us to the so-called hidden water, about which we briefly mentioned already. For example, 40% of Finn’s water footprint is hidden water; we consume imported commodities that require great amounts of water such as rice, cotton, and animal products. 
This shadow effect of globalisation has lead to more extreme droughts with this over-consumption of water. As long as we are tied to this vicious circle, the 1% of water resources - that is, our only fresh water - is not going to serve us long.
What can we do? We are going to make a follow-up article to answer this question. Stay tuned!
Ama & Essi
Edited by Alex Burchell
Photos: Antti Sihlman
This article was originally posted in March 2019.
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