Water covers three-quarters of the earth’s surface; it might appear that there is plenty to go around and that we will never run out of this valuable resource. In reality, however, we have a limited amount of usable fresh water. Over 97 percent of the earth’s water is found in the oceans as salt water. Two percent of the earth’s water is stored as fresh water in glaciers, ice caps, and snowy mountain ranges. That leaves only one percent of the earth’s water available to us for our daily water supply needs. Our fresh water supplies are stored either in the soil (aquifers) or bedrock fractures beneath the ground (ground water) or in lakes, rivers, and streams on the earth’s surface (surface water) and not all of the water in the ground and in lakes and rivers is easy to reach or clean enough to drink. Ice caps and glaciers are certainly hard to use for humans, plants, and animals. Some work is being done to take the salt out of ocean water (desalinate the water), but that is an expensive process.
The population has exploded, leaving the world’s water resources in crisis. This means that every year competition for a clean, copious supply of water for drinking, cooking, bathing, and sustaining life intensifies. Wherever they are, people need water to survive. Not only is the human body 60 percent water, the resource is also essential for producing food, clothing, moving our waste stream, and keeping us and the environment healthy.
According to the United Nations, water use has grown at more than twice the rate of population increase in the last century. By 2025, an estimated 1.8 billion people will live in areas plagued by water scarcity, with two-thirds of the world’s population living in water-stressed regions as a result of use, growth, and climate change. The challenge we now face as we head into the future is how to effectively conserve, manage, and distribute the water we have.
In addition, rising temperatures are melting glacial ice at an unprecedented rate. Glaciers are an important source of freshwater worldwide, and some, like those at Himalayas, are in danger of disappearing within the 21st century. Once these glaciers have melted away, they can’t be restored. Areas that previously depended on glaciers for freshwater will then have to seek other source. Complicating this potential outcome is the prediction that in a warmer environment, more precipitation will occur as rain rather than snow. Although more rain than snow may seem like a plus, it could mean more frequent water shortages. When snow and ice collect on mountaintops, water is released slowly into reservoirs as it melts throughout the spring and summer. When rain falls, reservoirs fill quickly to capacity in the winter, which can also result in excess water runoff that can’t be stored. Because rain flows faster than melting snow, higher levels of soil moisture and groundwater recharge are less likely to occur. Areas that rely on snow melt as their primary freshwater source could increasingly experience water shortages, like having low water supplies by summer’s end which is a major occurrence now at the higher reaches of mountains.
Ask any seasonal trekker, guide or porter who had been moving around the mountains and he will explain you how during the past few years, the camp sites which once use to have water sources have dried. Imagine if this case rises to much higher concern and our cities start to dry up. Water is the most valuable resource of nature. It is an endless creation which people did not took care of. As a result, crisis of water become one of the most important issue. Desperately using of water is a bad sign for the world. With areas in the world where people don’t get their drinking water properly. It’s time we start thinking and doing our part to save this valuable resource of the world. So we have to use the water as much we need without wasting. Our most basic steps like would ensure to save this resource.
Including these small practices in our daily life can make a positive start towards change.
- Stop the misuse of water.
- Manage the usage of water properly.
- Stop discharging pollutants without proper treatment.
- Take efforts in maintaining the quality of water.
- Stop wastage of water in our toilet.
- Promote rain-water harvesting and irrigation projects.
Our cities are already facing the harsh reality of water shortage and it’s time steps are taken before the D Day arrives.
Save Water! Save Resources! Save Life.