Home World Water Day 22nd March 2019

World Water Day 22nd March 2019

Today is 22nd March; it is celebrated as World Water Day. The theme for 2019 is  ”Leaving no one behind”.  Water is life. When we celebrate water, we celebrate life. Here water refers to only fresh, non saline and non polluted water.

Importance of fresh water

Fresh water is essential for all humans and land animals in various. Yet fresh water is scarce compared to huge human population. As per hydrological reports 97% of the world’s water is saline, than remains only 3% or less to satisfy the needs of 6 billion humans, along with land animals and agricultural and forest cover.

Brief history of World Water Day

The purpose of world water day to create awareness of this very importance resource water. It encourages the governments to make policies to preserve the sources of fresh water, efficient delivery for agriculture, drinking and understand the linkages between energy-water, water- development, water-sustenance and other possible linkages.

Objectives of World Water Day

The purpose of world water day to create awareness of this very importance resource water. It encourages the governments to make policies to preserve the sources of fresh water, efficient delivery for agriculture, drinking and understand the linkages between energy-water, water- development, water-sustenance and other possible linkages.

Water linkages

Water is linked to life and our very existence. Fresh water, is a very precious natural resource. It is pertinent to understand the precise relevance to water to various uses. Shortage of water leads to crisis of monumental proportions.

Water- Energy linkages:

Over 8% of energy is used for pumping, purification and transportation of energy. Moreover, water is used in creating energy; in hydroelectric, thermal and nuclear plants. Efficient use of water is very much necessary for creating a clean green economy.

Water shortages – Agriculture:

Water is necessary for growing crops. Scarcity of water leads to drought, and crop failures. This leads to famine and extreme human hardships, malnutrition and inflationary pressures on the economy. Water is also required to keep farm animals. Milch animals required more water not only for drying but also cooling. Drying up of ponds leads to dying fish. When animals die to water stress the loss becomes more profound.

Crop failure

Water crisis – rural areas:

In the third world countries, women especially in the rural areas need water for drinking and house hold work. Not all the villages are near the rivers, nor all villages have adequate rainfall to fill up the ponds. So women have to travel large distances to fetch water from the distant wells. This is a stressful activity in the summer. Even in the summer the wells dry up. Portable water , a necessity for life become rare.

The Indian summers are cruel. The temperatures soar more than 40 degrees Celsius. The villages in the interior record higher temperatures. This makes going outdoors very stressful and could be fatal. Women in the villages have to trek many miles to get to a water well and many miles back home. This may take many hours. Such activities are wasteful and takes a toll on women’s health.

Due to lack of clean drinking water, and water for sanitation, women source water from other not so clean sources. This leads to outbreak of water borne diseases like hepatitis, Cholera, diarrhea in the families. Children are the worst sufferers of these diseases.

Pregnant women need more water during this time. Lack of adequate water creates complications at child birth.

Water crisis-urban settlements:

Unplanned urbanization has caused many cities to go thirsty. Local government allow the expansion of settlements without budgeting for water needs. There is no provision for water reservoirs. If reservoirs are present, they are not of the capacity to meet and in the summer, the water from the reservoir is lost to evaporation. Many cities in India suffer from water crisis during summer. Water rationing is rampant. Portable water is sold. Many middlemen use this opportunity to exploit the people.  Again diseases thrive due to lack of clean drinking water and lack of sanitation.

Urban water crisis

Water crisis- refugees:

In many parts of India, due to water crisis people move from one area to another area in search of water and food. Crops fail, animals die, agriculture becomes unsustainable and families move out of their rural shelters to another area or come to urban areas for survival.  In Africa, droughts causes entire population of one region to move and become refugees in another country. This creates stress for the local population and lead to conflicts.

Refugees near water tank

Water-environment:

Scarcity of fresh water makes the trees go dry and leaves to fall. Rainfall is the source of fresh water in the forests and for all natural vegetation. Green forests are necessary to form rain clouds. When forests are cut down to make way for agriculture, mining and settlements, things get very bad. Depletion of forest cover reduces the formation of rain clouds which in turn gives less rain creating aridity. A vicious circle follows.

Water-development:

The proper management of water will come into action, once we take the complete picture in mind; Sustainable development. Sustainable development encompasses all the aspects of human activities keeping in mind the nature’s resources and limitation on its part to render those. This will lead to utilization of natural resources in a responsible way rather than exploiting those only for profit.Water being a natural resource will come into the ambit of resource management.

Rainwater harvesting is one option that must be explored for trapping rainwater is natural or man made reservoir not only in India but also in Asia and Africa. This will create a buffer for the surrounding population in times of summer.

Water recycling should be made mandatory. Many corporates and governments do not allow soiled water to move and mix with the natural water bodies like lakes, rivers and sea. This would prevent harmful chemicals present in the soiled water to mix with the natural bodies.

Limit the use of ground water. Over pumping of the ground water will lead to reduced water table. When the water table goes down critically, more energy is required to pump out the water. This leads to contamination of water  due to arsenic and lead and also land subsidence.

“Leaving no one behind”

Leaving no one behind is the theme for 2019. Access to clean water is taken as human right. It is aptly a human right as without it no human will exist. It will be endeavored to get clean water to all the people, irrespective of caste, creed, religion, nationality, gender and age. Water is a natural resource freely available and therefore every one without any bias should have an equal right to it.

It is very important to note all these facts with a startling and fearful prediction that India will face acute water crisis by 2020. Efforts should be taken in order to make sure that right to water should be taken up serious by the governments to avert the violation in the days of upcoming stress.

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