Climate change, droughts and health: NPHW emphasizes preparedness

This National Public Health Week — which is going on right now! — we’re focusing on making the U.S. the healthiest nation. Getting there means we need to address a number of issues, including climate change. Climate change and extreme weather are threatening U.S. health, and if we don’t do something about them there’ll be increases in disease, injury and death.

One of the big effects of climate change that scientists are worried about are droughts, which could make water supplies scarce. Droughts can even cause more cases of West Nile virus, research shows.
Both before and during droughts, there are steps we can all take to conserve water:
  • Reduce shower times and use high-efficiency showerheads to use less water and conserve energy.
  • Use energy-efficient washing machines and make sure to wash full loads of laundry instead of more frequent small loads.
  • Turn off your sprinklers when it’s raining. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends checking your lawn by stepping on the grass and seeing if it springs back as an indicator of whether it needs more water. Pay attention to local restrictions on water use during droughts.
  • Educate your community about the importance of water conservation and why everyone needs to do their part.
Learn more about climate change and health on the NPHW website, and check out NPHW events being held in your area this week.

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