June 6, 2023
We never know the worth of water till the well is dry - Thomas Fuller
Water is a precious natural resource that is becoming extremely scarce over the years and climate change is only exacerbating the issue. It is estimated that billions of people still lack access to safe water.
With rapid rise in population, the demand for water is also increasing at a rapid pace. Although coastal Karnataka receives abundant rainfall (3m-4m), water scarcity during the summer months is a common problem that is faced by cities every year. Unfortunately, the problem only seems to get worse year on year. With declining levels of water is dams, receding groundwater levels, dry and contaminated wells are hindering access to safe drinking water.
Phalguni Suspension Bridge, Mullarapattna in Buntwal Taluk, Dakshina Kannada District
Several homes, hotels, institutions, and hospitals are relying on water supplied by tankers to meet their water needs by burning a hole in their pocket. Many educational institutions have resorted to wrapping up exams, semesters early in April to send students home due to shortage of water. Even now, reopening of colleges are being postponed due to lack of water while some others have resumed online mode to restart semesters. We must realize that these are only temporary solutions and we need to think long-term to manage water resources wisely.
The problem is, we often do not think of saving water when we have it in abundance. This often results in mis-management and unnecessary wastage of water. We somehow try to manage the show with tanker water when there is absolutely no water. There is no better time than ‘Now’ for us to realize the importance of this precious resource and it is the need of the hour to devise ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle water at its best as there is no ‘new water.’ Reducing the demand for water is by far the wisest and most important step in our fight against water scarcity.
There are several ways to reduce your water consumption, be it in your home, school, organization, industries etc. Installing water saving devices that are inexpensive (costing much less than a pizza) in all running water points such as taps, health faucets, showers etc., harvesting rainwater, using I.O.T based technologies for monitoring water use etc., are some smart ways that we can adopt to save water.
Use of Waterless urinals can also save up to 1,50,000 litres of water per urinal every year i.e., the drinking water requirement of 14 families for a year.
There are also several behavioural changes that can be adopted to reduce our water consumption, such as judiciously using water, repairing leaks in a timely manner, collecting and reusing water from R.O water purifiers at home to clean vegetables, reuse the water used for cleaning vegetable to water plants, water plants early morning or late evening to minimize evaporation losses etc. are few ways we can be water smart.
Soon it will rain and everyone is going to forget on the importance of saving water. Let this not be our story. Let us choose to invest on water saving devices, harvest rainwater and recharge wells/borewells, practice behavioural changes to save water and spread the word for a sustainable future!!
Always remember, saving water is a choice, an act of being wise when there is abundance. Let us not wait till the well is dry to know the worth of water.