Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation famously said- The Earth provides enough to satisfy everyone’s need, but not anybody’s greed. In a sense, there is an irony in humankind’s progress. While we understand that water is the primary source of existence, we continue to waste this precious resource. There is a lingering misconception among a very large population who believe that since the Earth is covered in 70% of water, the crisis is just another alarmist theory. We could hope this was true. Sadly but not surprisingly, It’s not.
People have failed to realise that only about 2.7 percent of that water is fresh and fit for drinking.So Imagine the whole volume divided into billions of people over the world given that each person on this planet has access to clean drinking water. That is not entirely true either.
Global Warming and climate change are the new buzzwords that threaten our troubled existence. Not only are these phenomena causing erratic and disturbing weather systems, but they are also causing glaciers, the natural water reservoirs of the world to melt. The unfortunate results are incessant flooding, droughts and other natural disasters of varied proportions. One important point to note here is that, though they are called as Natural disasters, they are actually triggered due to some human interference. This changing weather pattern, or lack thereof, is becoming visible even in India. Extreme rainfall leading to floods in one region and droughts in other have led to overdrawing 0f ground-water.
As per the World Bank report, the water level in India has been going down consistently. Out of 550 cubic metres of water recorded as portable in India, the figure has changed drastically. Current survey shows a figure somewhere around 300 cubic metres. The trend shows that it is going to be worse rather than better. Estimates of 100 cubic metres have been drawn by concerned scientists. But that depends on the Population curve of the country. If the headcount continues to increase as of now, the figure might go down to even 50 cubic metres. These figures are shockingly bleak indeed and so is our future. It is also known that the usage of water is not limited to consumption. Though thousands of litres of hard water is easily available, converting it into usable leads to non-feasible expenditure of energy. That means that Water, which is the raw material for various industries and factories present, is going to have a saturation point sometime or the other. Indirectly this resource might have an indirect impact on the whole economy or country’s downfall. Unless there are some measures taken, it won’t be any better. Water has not been appreciated as a resource as such and thus faces this huge annihilation of the face of this planet. That has to change.
There is rumoured to be prophecy that the 3rd World War is going to be for Water. Agreed it sounds a little dramatic currently but there have already begun cases where minor disputes have begun among states and countries over the usage of Water resources. With the Resource becoming scarcer, this could get worse albeit on a larger scale, thus affecting the health, well-being and moreover the existence of mankind. Thus, it becomes obvious that every person, every single individual must pledge to be a part of the “Save Water” campaign. It is, after all, the collective responsibility for our actions will decide out not only present but also the future course of action. Any wrong step and it might end up having some serious ramifications for our future generations. The first step is to understand that water is a finite resource and with pollution, population, Global Warming and environmental degradation. Its sources are quickly diminishing. We must, therefore, remember that every drop counts. Slight modifications in our lifestyle will go a long way in helping in the positive direction. As is the root of the problem, the mending needs to start from the scratch. Leaky plumbing needs to be tapped. Baths need to be shorter, Cars need to be washed with a bucket of water, our water resources need to be protected better and sewage needs to be disposed of properly. We must not forget that the small contributions are going to make a huge impact.
Of paramount importance is the holistic plan to manage our water sources sustainably and responsibly, with equal weightage to augmentation of freshwater resource and water conservation. Some of the easy ways are Watershed development and rainwater harvesting. These methods collectively contribute towards not only storage of fresh water, but also ensure proper utilization of the purest form of water. This must be combined with development of Water-efficient techniques and processes that also reduce the use of resources like energy, and thus the load on the environment. Companies and private organisations also play a major role in determining quality of water resources. All factories try to cheap out on the treatment part and release the undesirable waste into water bodies. Thus it is important that they endeavour to introduce state-of-the-art techniques for water and environment management.
Water is not only a vital resource but a national economic resource. And hence needs to be conserved by pioneering the concept of water recycle and promoting the use of alternate sources, such as sea water. Water has been a proven elixir of life by soothsayer’s and scientists alike, and if such is the case, then it is a must to preserve that. Clean drinking water is an essential requirement of every individual and making it available to every person is the essence of the aim that we must hold by. We must remind ourselves of how humble we are when faced with any crisis. On this day let each one of us resolve to make on small yet positive change in our lifestyle towards the cause of water conservation. This must be ensured, for it is our future generation who will face the consequences of our action. As an obligation to Mother Earth, we should strive towards conservation of all our natural resources.