That water scarcity is a grave problem isn’t news anymore now. Most of the last 1970s and early 90s kids who are well-grown adults now have been hearing since their childhood that the next world war will be on the water. Nothing surprising about it though given how so many fights and protests keep popping up now and then all in the name of water!
The Cauvery water issue isn’t unknown to India and the countries like Thailand spend millions of dollars every year just so that they could have enough potable water.
The world is literally entering the classic stage of “Water Water everywhere not a drop to drink”
According to a recent report by the United Nations, around 1.2 billion people or in other words, barely one-fifth of the world’s population live in areas with acute water shortage and another 1.6 billion or another one-quarter of the global population faces a severe water shortage. If we talk of India alone, compounded by its rising population and urbanisation, the country will be in a 50% water deficit by the year 2030. The scene remains more or less than same or even worse for most developing countries and for the developed ones, thanks to their economic prowess and technological advancement, the dates have shifted a bit but no more than the year 2060.
The Challenge at Hand
We have shared the data to put the situation in perspective but the things do not really end there. With the rapidly growing population and increased urbanisation, heavy pressure has been put on the nearby water resources as well. Plus, the continuous need to combat the effects of climate change and go for bio-energy has also resulted in turning to water as a major source of energy.
With such a surge in water demand throughout, it is but difficult to come out with a purely sustainable means. However, when it comes to sustainability, any start is a good start. Hence, in this blog, we will try and list out a few sustainable ways of water harvesting
The Probable Solutions for combating Water Scarcity
Sustainable Water Management entails the improvement of the current water infrastructure as conservation is a lot about efficient management too. Solar desalination and smart irrigation systems can be said to be one of the greatest examples of water scarcity solutions. Once the efficient infrastructure has been set up, the next logical step in the sequence becomes Water Reclamation. So, let us read more about it
Rainwater harvesting and wastewater recycling also help in the reduction of the water scarcity concerns by replenishing the groundwater as well as increasing the shelf life of the stored water for longer time periods. While rainwater harvesting plants have been set up at a larger level in many of the cities, the people also need to be sensitised about the importance of doing that at home and basic infrastructural information needs to be provided about that. It is important to understand here that barely 10% of the rainwater is harvested currently. If this process starts getting done domestically as well, this percentage could well be increased to up to 53%.
Improved Sewage Management
Again a major challenge and area for improvement. A lot of water gets wasted in sewage treatment plants because this water is understandably marked as unfit for use. However, combining sewage treatment plants with water reclamation and a purifying unit which can then treat the water salvaged from sewage treatment.
Now, it is understandable that nobody will really be ready to use that water for cooking or drinking but how about watering plants or washing cars for using for the various industrial purposes?
That could be a good idea.
This could especially be a boon for countries or states bordering oceans or seas which have gravely saline water. In some regions such as in South of India, even the groundwater is saline enough and hence can be treated through this method. Reverse osmosis is the name of the technology which helps with desalination and is relatively inexpensive when it comes to comparing all the available desalination methods at use. This, however, is one step which the governments of the respective countries or states will have to decide upon for more effective implementation.
The fact has well been established that when it comes to water shortage, the necessary steps have to be taken now or it will be a never. As residents of this world, we will have to feel responsible for this effort. As governments, the decisions will have to be escalated as well.
Each and every one of us as some or the other role to play in finding a solution for the water scarcity that is so imminent. It is about time that something is done or else all of us will soon be in a war fighting for water!