“Thousands have lived without love, not one without water”- W.H. Auden
Next to air, water is the most precious and valuable resource for the preservation of life. Water is a finite commodity, if not managed properly, will lead to a crisis in the near future. As 71% of the Earth’s surface is coated with water, there is still an exigency to conserve water. As per the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation, about 97% of the Earth’s water is found in the oceans (which is too salty for drinking, agriculture and most industrial uses). Only 3% of the Earth’s water is fresh- out of which 2.5% of the Earth’s fresh water is locked up in polar ice caps, glaciers, atmosphere, soil or under the Earth’s surface, or is too polluted for consumption and the other 0.5% of the Earth’s water is available freshwater. With all the living organisms on Earth reckoning on such a small percentage of available water on Earth, we need to save water as we do not have its endless supply. We need to realize the importance of water and intercept it from pollution.
As per the report of the World Economic Forum, the water crisis poses a global risk in terms of impact on society and affects billions of people around the world. With the explosion in population and such a small percentage of water on earth, it only makes sense that we must conserve this limited resource by using water efficiently to reduce unnecessary water wastage. Over the years, rising population, expansion in agriculture and industrialization have pushed up the demand for water which has led to a downturn in the supply of water for mankind. On top of that, the laxity of customary water bodies like lakes and tanks, inaccurate conservation of surface water systems and abuse of groundwater have pestered this issue. We have been polluting the water for all the Earth’s creatures by sending toxic chemicals through the water bodies. Water is the most essential natural resource for the nourishment of all life which has been misused, polluted and wasted by us unconsciously.
As we all heavily rely on water to sustain our life, it becomes necessary to preserve water both in terms of quantity and quality. Saving water helps in the conservation of the environment. It brings down the energy needed to process and deliver water, which helps in curtailing pollution and in conserving fuel resources. Preserving water helps in cutting down the ramifications of water scarcity and helps to put up a better safeguard against future drought years. Conserving the water implies having water accessibility in the future for ancillary recreational purposes. There are varying manoeuvre to make water to last nowadays. One simple yet often disregarded stratagem is to cut your water bill is to use your water twice as water can be reused over again and again. As the availability of clean and safe water is scanty, we need to take measures to constraint our consumption of water to avoid wastage. Managing the sparse water supply wisely and caring for it thoroughly are just a few of the many pointers to preserve water. The most significant measure in the direction of locating panaceas to the issues related to water and environmental conservation is to alter people’s attitudes and habits. We can conserve water by following some of the simple measures that have been listed below:
- Planting more and more trees as afforestation helps water to penetrate into the soil and replenish the water table.
- Using efficient watering systems such as sprinklers and drip irrigation to avoid excessive use of water.
- Building dams and hydropower projects which not only helps in preventing floods but also contribute to the water supply.
- Treating domestic and industrial wastewater in sewage plants before its disposal in water bodies can help in reducing water pollution.
- Adopting rainwater harvesting techniques which help in raising water supply.
Besides these, we must take actions at an individual level to avoid water wastage at home.
- Make an economical use of water- do not leave the tap running while you are brushing, soaping, shaving or washing.
- Always turn off the taps tightly so that they don’t drip.
- The water that leaks from aquaguard should be collected and could be used for household works.
- Install low-flush/ dual flush/ composting/ incinerating toilets.
- Use shut-off timers or on-off timers, if possible. Do not turn on sprinklers and leave it for the day.
- Inform the civic authorities on finding any water leak in the public place.
- Promote water conservation in your area.
Water is directly connected to energy, required for agricultural activities, drinking, cooking, washing, cleaning & recreational purposes and for maintaining the sewage system. Indeed, water is used for multifarious purposes both in domestic and commercial arenas and we misuse water without really giving a thought. Water might be one of the most underrated things in the world as we have been taking water for granted over the years and undermined its value. Water shortage has become an increasingly hard problem to manage. More than 40% of the world’s population live in a section where the demand for water transcends its supply. The polarity between the demand and supply, along with contemporaneous issues such as climate change and population growth has made water reuse a mandatory technique for preserving water. If we do not preserve water now, we might come across a day when there will be no water left for us. Every little effort from everyone would add up to water conservation.
Water conservation is not the sole obligation of the government, technician, hydrologist, scientists, forester, farmer, mine owner, rancher or city planner but it is the personal obligation for every person who has access to the life-sustaining resource of water. As the water crisis has become a global issue hence, it is our collective responsibility to conserve water not only for ourselves but also for the future generation.
On this 22nd March, we must remind ourselves of our duty to use water economically and judiciously and overcome the problems of water scarcity and pollution.