“Water – The Most Precious Resource of the Solar System”
“Water – The Most Precious Resource of the Solar System”
By Gaurav Kashyap
Water is Life, Water is Death!
Water is one of the most precious elements of life on the planet. It is critical for satisfying the basic human needs, health, food production, energy and maintenance of regional and global ecosystems. Over 70% of the human body is made up of water, A human being may survive without food for several days but water deprivation can kill a person with in a matter of hours. Life is, therefore, tied to water, as it is tied to air and food. And food is indeed tied to water. Almost 80% of diseases in so called “developing” countries are associated with water, causing some three million early deaths. For example, 5,000 children die every day from diarrhea, or one every 17 seconds. According to the most recent UN estimate the human population of the world is expected to reach 8 billion people in the spring of 2024.Due to water scarcity is estimated to cause annual global losses Of 350 million tons of food productions by 2025.
“Most Precious Resource of the Solar System”
Due to the presence of water on earth it became the only planet in the solar system which supports life. Only 2.5% of world water is not salty but covered in the form of lce caps. Only 0.08 of 1% of the total water on the planet. Which supports Human, Planet and Animal. It is really a precious resource indeed. Rise in population putting a severe strain on the fresh water resources. The acute water problem is not only affecting developing countries but also developed countries. There is huge inequality of water use in between developing & developed countries. In North America residential area per person uses about 600 liters of water. In Japan & Europe, it is 250 lit. & 300 lit. More or less respectively. Whereas per capita water use per day in sub Sahara region is 10 liters. In India per capita of water use is less than 50 lit. It is reckoned that one fresh of a toilet in developing countries use as much water as the average person in the developing world use for a whole day in washing, drinking, cleaning & cooking.
“No single measure would do more to reduce disease and save lives in the developing world then bringing safe water and adequate sanitation” (Kofi Annan).
Wastages of water
Wastages of water are the one of the biggest reason for depletion of fresh water sources. 70% of the world’s water worldwide, agriculture accounts for 70% of all water consumption, compared to 20% for industry and 10% for domestic use. In industrialized nations, however, industries consume more than half of the water available for human use. Freshwater withdrawals have tripled over the last 50 years. Demand for freshwater is increasing by 64 billion cubic meters a year (1 cubic meter = 1,000 liters)
The world’s population is growing by roughly 80 million people each year. Changes in lifestyles and eating habits in recent years are requiring more water consumption per capita. The production of bio-fuels has also increased sharply in recent years, with significant impact on water demand. Between 1,000 and 4,000 liters of water are needed to produce a single liter of bio-fuel. Energy demand is also accelerating, with corresponding implications for water demand.
Water shortage & lack of access to safe drinking water will lead to next generation world war, if appropriate measures are not taken immediately, the world would soon face threat like shortage of food supply, environment degradation& health risk for billions of people. Water shortage will leads to conflicts among human & animals. There are many incidents of fights between people over water. Humans are encroaching animal water sources, which leads to conflict between man & animals. Which leads to human’s casualty by animals. We have to stop it before it becomes worse. There are many incidents where families fought over water. Sometimes these fights take lives of people. According to UN by 2025 as many as 500 crore of people will be facing water shortage as many as 270 crore will face sever water shortage. If the world continue consuming water at the present rate.
World’s population is now more than 7 billion and continues to grow by 82 million people per year. Currently the rate of population increase is 1.2 % per year which means the human population is on a trajectory to double again in 58 year.
“Fierce national competition over water resources has prompted fears that water issues contain the seeds of violent conflict “Kofi Annan .
Water and Global Security
In adequate availability of water, food and energy is critical to global security. Water and other natural resource will shape our future policies, those who have plenty of water and other natural resource will govern the world. The United Nation in 2010 recognized access to safe, affordable water & sanitation as a Human Right .Yet the reality remains stark .More people today own or use mobile phone than have regular access to a toilet. Unclean water is the greatest killer on the globe. Claiming thousands of children’s lives every day. Yet many people still lacks easy access to portable water. More than half of the global population currently lives under water stress. Water is renewable but infinite resource. Nature’s fixed water –replenishment capacity limits the world’s renewable freshwater resources to about 43,000 billion cubic meters per year.
Saying of Mark Twain is fit in current water situation.“Whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting over “Mark Twain.
Struggle for water put great impact on the earth’s ecosystem. Degradation of water resource putting aquatic life in danger. Groundwater depletion is affecting groundwater led wetlands, lakes, underground natural stream and water table. Water degradation will make our cities run out of water. Sana ‘city in Yemen becoming the first capital city to run out of water. Water shortage poses a major problem for a society than oil crisis, economic slowdown other challenges. In modern times California is going through its worst water crisis.
Conflict V/s Humanitarian Water Policy.
Water policy of a country plays an important role in defining global presence. To show there global power powerful countries put a conflict water policy instead of Humanitarian water policy. Conflict water policy put powerless country in less advantage stage. For example, Bangladesh is bearing the main impact of continuous building up of dams on Brahmaputra. Putting later water management in their hands .Conflicts over water are increasing .Water wars are common in several regions. Egypt military threat against Ethiopian’s ongoing construction of dam on Blue Nile. The use of water as a weapon of war of terrorism would become more likely on the next decade. Setting up new manufacturing and energy plants in inadequate water areas often triggers local protest. One such example is the POSCO steel plant in Odisha(India). Water stressed economies like India, Iran Egypt and South Korea are paying high prices for their water problem. Globally economic losses from water are estimated at $ 260 Billion. South Korea is encouraging its corporate giants to produce water –intensive items – from food to steel –for the home market in overseas lands. China facing water paucity in its arid north, slipping into the category of water – stressed states. Internal Water resource conflict will create civil wars, Sudan is one such example.
Water V/s Oil
With era of cheap, bountiful water having been replaced by increasing supply and quality constraints mainly international investors are beginning to view water as the new oil. Looking ahead, water shortage is not only going to intensify and spread but users also will have to increasingly pay more for their water supply.
Water crisis can be overcome by adopting smart water management and sustainable use of water resources. To Avert Water Wars & becoming the world’s next major social, political and economic challenge, we need to adopt water laws nationally and internationally. To settle the water sharing dispute peacefully & amicably
” Frequent Fights On Water”
There is a water crisis In Uttar Pradesh’s hamirpur district, The Energy and Research Institute
(TERI), found that around 162,000 village in India face the problem of brackish or contaminated water. Mamana, with a population of 4,387 is clearly one of them. People in Mamana can recognise the hardness in the water easily enough. If they use soap, they will find that it does not lather and instead leaves a white deposit on the body. If they leave water standing in a glass for a while, a stain forms around the water’s rim.Hardness in water comes from heavy metals and minerals that have made their way into the water from sedimentary rocks, seepage or farm runoff. Substances like calcium and magnesium, emerging from limestone and chalk deposits found in soil have a presence in the water. The ill-effects of the drinking hard water are found in the whole in Hamirpur. “Many people here complain of pain in one side of their stomach and it is said that is because of Kidney stones caused by the poor quality of drinking water.”Mamana has 742 households, of which 369 are from the Schedule caste and 275 belong to other backward Classes. As in the rest of UP, caste determines every aspect of life, including the quality of water that reaches Dalits . Dalits and Muslims neighborhoods are the least serviced and the hardest hit when there is an acute shortage of water during the summer when temperatures soar to 45 degree Celsius.There is frequent fights on water , fights break out of access the six wells that have sweet water and the water from the tankers. Those who are not so lucky to get that water ,have to drink the brackish water in the hand pumps, which cause serious illness to them , many of them get gastrointestinal problems .Women traditionally have been given the drudge task of collective water for all domestic purpose, including watering the cattle if there are any. The sight of women and young girls hauling pitchers and buckets is common enough but rarely can men be spotted doing similar activity.
Principal cause of the Water Crisis is misuse of water & high water pollution level. In Agriculture irrigation use two –third of global fresh water. In developing countries 60% is wasted or used ineffiently. Major sources of water pollution are human wastes, industrial waste, hospital waste & chemicals & pesticides and fertilizers used for farmings .Water is not like oil. There is no substitutes, if continues to take it for granted, much of the earth is going to run short of water or food or both.
How we can overcome from Water Crisis?
1. Conserving water and using water efficiently.
2 .Improving Irrigation technologies for farming
3. Recycling of waste water (Israel reuses nearly 65% of its domestic waste water for crop production and frees up fresh water for household and industries.
4. Rain water harvesting.
5. Water development & management (these measures have to be taken on a war footing).
Today we have to deal with quality as well as management of Water
Water, sanitation, hygiene, environment & health are the most important issue for the development of society. To make it available for our future generation we have to give more importance to quality as well as management of resources. “Water is life but if it contaminated it cause death “. About 80% of all disease in the developing countries is caused by unsafe water & sanitation. Some of the deadly diseases are born in unsafe water & unhygienic sanitation condition. Every year millions of people around the world die just became of unsafe Water, Sanitation & Hygiene. Every day thousand of child is dying from poor quality of water & unhygienic sanitation facilities. Many of them became mentally unsound. Clean drinking water and good hygiene sanitation facilities have a great impact on the central nervous system.
About 2000 year ago we have more fresh water on earth than today. From last 100 years, world’ population became tripled but our water use by humans has multiplied by six folds.
World Water vision
Was adopted in second world water form in Hague. Where it is recognize that water is life and has its goals, that every human being now and its future should have access to safe water for drinking appropriate sanitation and enough food and energy at reasonable cost. Providing adequate water to meet these basic needs must be done in an equitable manner that works in harmony with nature. For sustainable development of human being & nature, we must use water respectfully.
India In South Asia Regional Water Partnership
Under the global water partnership, regional water partnership has been established. South Asia regional water partnership comprises south Asian countries, India, Bangladesh, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Nepal .Its headquarters is in Bangladesh. India water partnership was officially established in 2000 with its headquarter in New Delhi .The Water and Power Consultancy Service of India (WAPCOS) a public sector wing of the Ministry Of Water Resources acts as a secretariat .
India Water Vision 2025
The steering committee of Indian Water Partnership prepared the Indian Water Vision document during 1998-2000. Report of Integrated Water Resources Plan development 1999 help in making the Indian water vision.Water vision will take account the availability of fresh water from various water resources and what is the present rate of consumption of it .Vision comprised the availability of safe drinking water for all ,near their households so that women and girls do not spend much time in fetching water , perception of water used for meeting the basic needs of cooking ,drinking and hygiene as a social good, equity in use of drinking water ,availability of food at affordable prices for the poorest ,minimum mortality and morbidity due to water related disease ,optimum use of water for irrigation as per agro –climatic condition ,existence of clean river and lakes and water bodies ,minimum flows in river and minimal inter-states disputes ,large dependence on rain water harvesting ,minimal pollution from industries and agriculture ,effective regional co –operation in sharing of water and energy resources and effective governance and decentralized management .In developing the vision for 2025 ,the key drivers such as population growth ,urbanization and emergence of mega cities ,economic growth ,zero poverty level and import of food grains have been used. The vision was developed to ensure a)Food security b)Livelihood c) Health Security d) Ecological security .The total estimated demand for water (Gross) for 2025 has been estimated at 1027 BCM. This would require an investment estimated at Rs 5000 billion during the coming 25 years.
By Gaurav Kashyap
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