As opposed to our long standing perception of water being a renewable resource, it is time that we start realising that water might be in abundance but potable water which we require to sustain is non renewable in every sense.
70% of the total earth is covered under water. But out of the 70%, 97% water is saline in nature and are in the form of sea. Rest 1.5-2% of clean water are locked in glacier. Rest the whole world is managing within the 1% potable water.
Since the time global warming started kicking in predominantly, the glaciers comprising of the clean water are melting at an alarming rate. The untapped potable water is getting wasted by mixing into the oceans. That not only reduces the available potable water for the world population but are also increasing the sea level, which again would eventually form to be a major reason for the natural calamities that we might be facing in the near future.
But why should we bother as all these macro changes are not in our control could be the views of people who do not want to accept our present reality while giving self the reason to be more lazy and irresponsible. Starting from we keeping our taps open for long to using more water than required, every small wastage of potable water by each one of us is the reason why we will be facing severe drought and natural calamities. It is an almost known fact that the Third World war is going to happen over Water itself because countries have started aligning their foreign policies and negotiation tactics around this valuable yet invaluable resource. Water, which we need to survive, is NON Renewable in nature.
Now, when we talk about Water Management Practices in India, India having extreme population density while it stands to challenge China’s position of being the most populated country in the world in the coming decade, is in desperate need for water resource conservation. Extreme population is leading to extreme demand for water. But the problem lies in we not being able to control and manage sources of water wastage due to high level of unawareness of the situation or even high level of non acceptance of the situation by the masses. Major Tier 1 cities still lack effective water reuse measures and water harvesting measures. Potable water from the municipal are majorly being used for flushing, cleaning as well as landscaping purposes whereas they are expensive filtered water intended for our drinking and other day to day face washing and body cleaning activities. Countries having lesser GDP and economic means have effectively implied better water management practices. Most of the Tier 1 cities are facing water logging problems during monsoon season while loosing out on a huge opportunity to harvest the clean rainwater to cater to the water starved masses of the country. All this potable water eventually adds on to the sea level where it gets disposed off thereby increasing the sea level even more. There is no affinity towards restricting and restructuring measures to reduce potable water consumption for usages which could be avoided. India desperately needs to improve and incorporate effective water management practices from door to door to finally make any kind of impact in delaying this process of the future doom that we are facing.
We have focussed enough on the bad news, lets just spare sometime to discuss on the solutions to this problem.
1. Water Reuse and Zero Discharge System
2. Rain Water Harvesting
3. Storm Water Management
4. Effective Landscaping and Irrigation Features
5. Usage of Low Flow Plumbing fixtures
Now the measures as mentioned above focus on one single things. Reduction in wastage for water consumption while harvesting rain water as well as recycled water. Now people have their apprehension towards recycled water, which is used water treated effectively that can further be used for all our requirements other than drinking and cleaning self.
Consuming recycled water by us is not a new concept. The natural water cycle of earth had been recycling and reusing water since the inception of civilisation. The potable water that we receive are taken up from rivers and further treated and supplied to us. These sources of our potable water also comprises of waste water from discharges by us, hence getting mixed with river water which is further treated for our drinking purposes. Recycling water takes care of the following benefits
- Decreases diversion of water from sensitive eco systems to meet our water requirements. Also, it saves diversion of fresh water from these eco systems.
- It adds on to the already reducing sources for water required to cater our daily requirements.
- To reduce wastewater discharges thereby reducing contamination sources and leading to pollution control.
- Reusing water leads to reduction in groundwater and aquifer depletion.
- Reusing water reduces energy usage to extract water from groundwater. The same also leads to reduction in ground water pollution reduction and air pollution prevention.
Coming to Rain water harvesting, it also has become a necessity other than just being a good water conservation practice for our society. Rain water are one of the most clean sources of potable water and if not being harvested, we are actually wasting the potential to utilise and put to our use one of the most prominent sources of potable water to meet our requirements. With growing population, other than water crisis, in our metropolitan, we face a major phenomenon during monsoons namely Water Clogging. Rain water harvesting are solutions to our water crisis issues while making sure that most of our city day to day problems caused during monsoons are managed accordingly thereby providing the following benefits
- Added and one of the most clean source of potable water to meet our daily requirements.
- Again reduces diversion of water from sensitive eco systems
- Reduces rain water getting wasted by eventually forming a part of our sewage system and contributing more to increasing the sea levels, which are anyhow increasing at an alarming rate due to global warming and melting of glaciers.
- Address water clogging issues if water on site are managed well and accordingly directed for the purpose of it being harvested for our use.
- Reduces ground water and aquifer depletion.
- Reduces grounds water pollution.
- Reduces energy consumption for extracting water from ground.
When we talk about the usage of water in our buildings and campuses, usage of low flow fixtures are one of the most effective ways to reduce the consumption of water by building occupants. In flushing and water basins itself, low flow fixtures ensure a reduction in water consumption in the tunes of 30-60% which is a very considerable amount. This not only reduces the load of water requirements but all associated issues related to supplying extra water. Adapting and switching to low flex fixture is the least we may do as it is neither time or cost intensive. This just requires us to be aware and a bit more responsible in our selection of materials. And going by how things have become, we cannot afford to be lazy or carefree anymore regarding our water usage.
It is time that we turn up our alertness levels and awareness levels more in order to keep pace with the changing environment. It has become essential to take into consideration environment while planning upcoming infrastructure and development thereby ensuring sustainable development practices.
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