managing water crisis the need of the hour
Managing water crisis: the need of the hour
The blue planet, with more than 70% of its surface covered with water bodies, is facing a global crisis; being unable to provide every individual with fresh consumable water even for their basic needs. The broader reason for this can be understood if we study some water facts. Only 3% of this water on the planet is obtained from fresh water bodies, and the rest 97% is saline, resting in oceans. And out of this small fraction of potable water source, only 1% is accessible and the rest is trapped in glaciers, which too are melting due to global warming and draining into the oceans. Compared to the rising population and proportional increase in industrial water consumption, the depleting water sources pose as a major threat to the survival of human race.
It is indeed an important and sensitive global issue, but especially important in India. The Ministry of Water of India estimated that we have an adequate supply of freshwater, taking into account that covering only 2.5% of the global geographic space, we hold 4% of the global fresh water reservoir. But population is another major factor affecting this distribution, where 16% of the world population residing in this country is fighting over 4% of the world’s freshwater. India being an agricultural country, supplies 80% of its water resource to the agricultural land. For these purposes, groundwater levels have been seen to reduce drastically too. The diverse geographic features of the country, from mountains to deserts also contribute to the unequal distribution of water sources across the subcontinent. Inefficient water treatment plants and poor drainage systems lead to floods and not ‘freshwater harvest systems.’ These are some of the many signs of the national crisis worsening rapidly.
One may ask what a citizen sitting at home can do about a national crisis which the government and authorities must act upon. To answer this, we must understand that at least at the crux of the need of fresh water lies with how much water at the individual level we consume, and if there is any way in which we can reduce our own water footprint. Each human, on a standard, requires 150 litres of water for drinking, cooking, washing, bathing and other uses daily. Hence we can conclude that water conservation can begin from home. The little things we can do to conserve this critical natural resource and reduce our wastage at a personal level can go a long way to help save the planet.
Here are some ways in which you can reduce your water consumption and conserve the limited water resources;
- Switching from baths and showers to buckets to wash yourself can reduce 5-10 litres of water from every minute you take to bathe.
- The dual flush systems can reduce up to 60% of water as per need in every flush.
- Do not keep the taps running when not in use, like brushing and shaving.
- Operating washing machines in full-load cycles saves water as well as power consumed.
- You can reuse your kitchen waste-water to water plants. Not only it saves on extra water, but it also contains more nutrients which are beneficial to the plants. Water used to boil vegetables can be cooked into nutritious stock and broths too, and not simply thrown away.
- In places where clean water is supplied by municipal corporations, you can employ UV and UF technologies for your water purification systems instead of RO water filters. RO purifiers can eliminate up to 75% of freshwater even when clean water is supplied into the system. They must ideally be used only when you need to filter out dissolved salts and fine metal impurities from untreated water.
- A simple fix in leaking taps and pipeline can go a long way. Every drop counts!
Along with reducing your water footprint, you can employ a number of measures to save and harvest water for your own consumption. For every cause and effect, there is also a solution for water scarcity. Rain water harvesting is a traditional and very efficient method to collect the fresh water supplied by rain. You can install harvesting systems and collection tanks on your roofs and employ appropriate filtration systems to obtain clean fresh water right at your homes, which can especially be of great use during emergencies, where you’ll already have saved water during water shortage.
Individual efforts can go a long way in humanity’s collective effort to fight this worsening crisis. Make this blue planet blue again!