In a reality check we observe that the source of groundwater is drying up in this country and the alarming worry about water levels continue. Many of the proposed smart cities in India lacks basic infrastructure and the decision to include them is defeated with the drawbacks particularly lack of drinking water and usable water. Thus we are in troubled waters and India’s largest state UP tops the list. Wells and borewells serve the purpose when there is water shortage.
As water levels go down considerably we should plan for Rain Water Harvesting which is followed in Tamil Nadu and other neighbouring states. All through our childhood and growing up years, whenever we had an opportunity to play in water or leave the tap open with water flowing down the drains, as elders always used to reprimand us for stating that with every drop of water, wasted it was money that was getting wasted. Never did we realise the consequences or the connection between water and money, but now with the sorts of situation that we are heading towards and placed on the brink of a catastrophe and buying water with ground water drying up, remember the golden words. It is time for retrospection at this crucial juncture as the water shortage threat throughout the world is catching up thick and fast.
There is no proper and concrete guidelines to restrict the malpractices of misutilisation of water. There is no segregation of water in India. Drinking water is used for washing clothes, gardening, cleaning cars, roads and the most important usage in huge and bulk by the housing sector.
There is no policy of restricting the usage of drinking water for multi-purpose requirements. It is a matter of great regret that we pay water tax and impurified water is supplied at doorstep which is then purified by various process to obtain drinkable water. Despite the fact that water is supplied by Government Agencies, we talk big and hardly take any step to conserve water. Adjust your daily habits to save litres of clean fresh water every day.
While brushing your teeth, use a glass of water instead of a running tap for wetting the brush and rinsing. A running tap can waste about 16 litres of water each minute. While taking bath limit your showers to a maximum of four minutes. For shaving use a cup, sink or container of warm water to clean the shaver in rather than a warm running tap. Never shave in the shower. Clearing dishes after the meal require more water and so scrape and compost your food waste instead of rinsing it off plates and dishes. At the time of washing rinse dishes in a bucket and use the water in the garden afterwards.
Ensure you only do full loads of washing, if possible using cold water and adjusting water levels to suit the size of loads. Fix dripping taps and toilets quickly as they can waste up to 13 litres of water a day. Fresh water is the lifeblood of nature. Without it, we would not have clean air, food, drink and many aesthetic and recreational benefits. The consequences of wasting water can be seen in the spreading deserts across the world and the resulting drought and famine that can soon follow.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)