Water – A Depleting Resource

World Water Day is celebrated on 22 March to spread awareness about the significance of water in our daily lives, how every individual can save water, and the importance of drinking clean water. Studies say that 1.1 billion people in the world do not get clean drinking water; and in India, around 1800 human lives are lost daily due to contaminated water. 

The fact that we need a World Water Day to remind us of the crucial role that water plays in all our lives, speaks volumes! To quote from the World Water Vision Report, "There is a water crisis today. But the crisis is not about having too little water to satisfy our needs. It is a crisis of managing water so badly that billions of people - \and the environment - suffer badly."  

Mr Karunakara Reddy, Chairman & MD – SMAAT India, addressed the gathering of eminent scientists, conservationists and the interested public at the Eastern Himalayan Naturenomics™ Forum on 9 November 2016, about the importance of saving water and informed them about his company’s initiative - Walk for Water – with the slogan, “Water Now, Water Tomorrow, Safe Water for All” – which has been involving citizens right from the grassroots level to the urban areas as participants in spreading awareness about the need to save water.

True to the spirit of the occasion, everyone present at the event took the pledge to do his or her bit to save water. As the pledge proves, we do not need grandiose gestures to save water – each of us can think of simple practices, such as the following, to use water wisely.

  • Turn off the tap while brushing our teeth, shaving or applying soap/shower gel, and also while washing clothes or dishes by hand.
  • Use smaller cisterns for the toilet; that way you save water each time you flush.
  • Use your washing machine or dish washer only with a full load.
  • Wash fruit & vegetables in a container rather than in running water.
  • Keep frozen food out a few hours ahead rather than defrosting them under a running tap.
  • Opt for a bucket bath rather than a shower, or spend less time under the shower.
  • While waiting for the hot water in the shower, collect the cold water that comes out first (in a bucket) and use it for washing clothes, mopping the floor, cleaning the car or watering the plants.
  • Use a watering can to water plants instead of a hose pipe. 
  • Plant your garden with trees/shrubs or plants that need less water, and put indoor plants out in the rain.
  • Collect and use rainwater for watering plants or cleaning the car.
  • Wash your car on the lawn (for those who have one); that way, the grass gets watered.
  • Repair/change leaking pipes immediately.
  • Collect the water that drains out of your air conditioner and make use of it for cleaning or for watering plants.
  • Pour small quantities of drinking water into glasses and refill as required.
  • Spread awareness regarding these practices among family and friends.

We tend to forget that a small drop of water is an ocean for an ant; it is all a matter of perspective. If every individual uses water judiciously by following the above practices, and saves at least a litre of water daily, we will be saving 7.5 billion litres every day. This can have a profoundly positive effect on the future of humanity, as well as on forests and aquatic ecosystems and their respective dependent species. 

Sarita Dasgupta
Kolkata

 

 

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