Life is possible on Earth, and the reason is ‘presence of water’. Water the most abundant resource is essential for the survival of all living organisms including microbes. 70% of the earth is the covered by water (approx 1400 million cubic kilometers), out of which 97.3% is ocean water i.e. not appropriate for human use as it is salty. And 2.7% is fresh water (approx 35 million cubic kilometers), out of which approx 70% is fixed in glaciers and ice sheets of Antarctica. So, the amount of the most abundant resource available for living use is only 1% (approx).
Now it’s high time for us to pay attention to water conservation practices. For maintaining the presence of this precious resource in our lives, we should stop contaminating fresh water resources through discharge of sewage, toxic chemical and other wastes into it. Water pollution and scarcity are the major problems caused due to a rapid increase in industrialisation, urbanisation and deforestation as the population grows. Policies should be implemented to optimise the operation of existing STPs (Sewage Treatment Plants), establishing new STPs and plan how to reuse treated sewage.
This is the time when each of us must take action for water conservation on a regular basis. India ranks amongst the top countries facing water scarcity problems in the present scenario. States like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and some parts of Gujarat are very much attacked by this huge problem where females have to cover long distances barefoot so that they can get some water for their survival. Even the metropolitan cities like Bangalore, Delhi, Calcutta and Mumbai are facing the water scarcity problems at a huge level. Recent studies say that approx 25% to 30% of the urban population lacks access to the clean drinking water.
Lack of water is a big issue in India to manage. It’s time to join hands together and take effective actions to fight this menace. Only saving and protecting water without misusing it can meet our demands for present and future otherwise this elixir of life won’t last for long. There are various ways that can be implemented in day-to- day life to save gallons of water on daily basis:
- Plant more and more trees as they help in maintaining ground water table.
- Create awareness to promote “rainwater harvesting” on roofs of houses in public.
- While doing dishwashing, face washing, brushing teeth, hand wash- make sure that tap is not on non-stop.
- Shower heads with low flow (energy- efficient bathing), low flush toilets and composting toilets (instead of conventional western toilets) or dual flush toilets should be promoted.
- Maintain the habit of reusing and recycling of waste water.
- In rains, collect water to use in toilets, watering plants, sprinkling in the garden.
- Eco-friendly manuring, recycling of crop residues increases organic matter in soil and in turn, increases water holding capacity.
- As like that of electricity meters, water metering in each home should be promoted.
- Always use full loads in your washing machine and dishwasher – this cuts out unnecessary washes in between.
- Fix a dripping tap. A dripping tap can waste 15 litres of water a day, or 5,500 litres of water a year.
- Install a water butt to your drainpipe and use the water collected to water your plants, clean your car and wash your windows.
- Water your garden with a watering can rather than a hosepipe. A hosepipe uses 1,000 litres of water an hour. Mulching your plants (with bark chippings, heavy compost or straw) and watering in the early morning and late afternoon will reduce evaporation and also save water.
- Techniques of water saving can be encouraged in ways like waterless urinals, waterless car washes, infrared or foot operated taps, pressurised water brooms, steam sterilising and heat exchangers etc.
Every drop is precious, save it!!!!
About the Author :
Saumya Tripathi is an Intern in Keep India Beautiful. She has done her B.Sc. (EVS) from MJPRU (Bareilly) and pursuing M.Sc. (EVS) from BBA University (Lucknow). Reading and writing about ecology and environment keeps her busy in her leisure time.