The Importance of Conserving Water - Especially in a Climate Such As India
Water is the single most essential component of all things in our lives. Nowadays one needs to pay for water in the cities. We need to be careful using water, so that others are not deprived of this very essential commodity. I see people wasting water because they think it is plentiful, even when they have to pay for it. Just now the water rates are not too high, but if we carry on abusing and wasting it, we may have to pay a heavy price to get clean water for our daily use.
Water is a Nature's gift to all living beings
I am generally very careful with water and try not to waste. I water the plants with water used for washing rice and vegetables. I never flush unnecessarily and never keep the tap running while washing my face or brushing my teeth.
Because of the intense heat, most tropical countries face water problems, especially during summer months. But I see that most people in my country neither value the importance of water nor do they learn from experience. They waste water when it is plentiful and struggle to find enough water when the levels deplete. It happens at all levels of society.
The rich seem to have a disdain for conserving water since they can "afford to pay" for water. The middle class wants to show that they are not far behind, and the poor are completely ignorant. They face the maximum amount of difficulties, and yet they do not care. The best example is my maid, who keeps the tap on while washing utensils even when it is not needed. I keep telling her to turn the tap off when it is not needed, but she fails to understand. In her own home she has to struggle for a pot of water and depends solely on the public tap which serves the entire community. Daily water wars are very common in these localities, and yet they don't seem to realise the importance of water in their lives..
In dry places like Gujarat, Rajasthan and parts of other northern states in India people, especially women, walk for miles together going in search of water sources. During harsh, dry summer months, their entire day is taken up by this task. This sufficiently proves that the government and the local authorities have not been able to find a solution for such a major problem, or that they simply have not had the political will to do so.
An incident comes to my mind: Our neighbors have a huge house with a lawn and garden and during summer their sprinklers are continuously watering the lawns to keep them green and lush--thats ok, as they buy water from the tankers when the corporation water fails. Close by there is a small colony where the poorer section live and sometimes when their public taps go dry.
The poor things came to the neighbors, asking for a pot of water. I watched as they were turned away without being given any water. The extra water from the compound runs down a little pipe outside the compound and into a gutter, and these people were desperately trying to catch the flowing water from the pipes in their pots and little mugs, what a sad situation! That's how callous most people are.Thankfully, the watchman from our apartment block called them and gave them a few pots of water.
I personally feel that we need to teach the youngsters about respecting natural resources like water, trees, etc. I feel that not enough is being done to conserve nature; one fine day we will come to regret this. I see most people wasting water unnecessarily and then when there is a shortage they curse the government and the authorities--but they fail to do their part in trying to utilise water in the right manner, and help in conserving it. Nowadays even the smaller villages are facing water problems because the water tables are connected, and as the need increases the supply decreases--and there is bound to be problem In India. There are talks about linking rivers so that the water gets equally distributed.
Rainwater harvesting--which is nothing but conserving rain water which otherwise would flow away into the sea--for future use is gaining a lot of importance and in some cities the authorities are insisting that each house has its own rainwater conservation system put in place. We have to learn to respect Nature and her bounties.
Water Shortages Around the World
Water shortages are also common around the world. Recently, in March, 2018, Cape Town, South Africa, city officials warned the city that by mid July, they might have to shut off the water taps to the city of 4 million people.
The problem is a rapid population growth that coincides with a terrible and ongoing drought. And this drought could be caused by global warming and could get worse as the decades go by.
In the United States, there are increasing waters of water shortages, especially in the Southwestern United States. The Colorado River has been increasingly running low because of a shortfall of snow in the Colorado Rockies. Some researchers believe that it is possible that the huge Lake Mead, which is fed by the Colorado River, will be dry by the year 2021. Lake Mead supplies water to 22 million people.
For many years, there has been mandatory lawn watering laws in many states in the Southwestern United States like Colorado. These laws allow homeowners to water their lawns only during certain hours and for a couple of hours per watering. This has helped, but ironically, the local water boards have been hurt by this, because with less water usage, they do not receive the revenue they need to maintain and build new watersheds and reservoirs.