Take a Pledge to Save Water on this World Water Day!
Austen has rightly quoted, “Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.” Certainly, water is the driving force of nature and an essential element of life. It is much more than just “thirst-quencher” as it is crucial for humans, animals as well the whole ecosystem to keep a sustainable balance. We all need a safe, secure and sufficient source of fresh water for the survival, well-being and socio-economic development of all mankind. Knowing that fresh water is not a perpetually abundant resource, we continue to turn a deaf ear.
We, by overlooking our ecosystems, are making it more difficult for everyone to get access to fresh water which is crucial for our survival. Environmental damage, accompanied by climate change, is adding to the water-related crisis throughout the world. The quantity and quality of water available for human consumption have been greatly affected by the damaged ecosystem. The time has come to take this problem seriously, and start adapting nature-based solutions that are likely to resolve many of our water challenges.
World Water Day, or International World Water Day, is an annual water awareness event observed on 22 March. The day intends to create understanding on the universal access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities in developing countries. Commenced in the year 1993, World Water Day also supports the sustainable management of freshwater resources. Many organizations, throughout the world, organize theatrical and musical celebrations, educational events, and campaigns to raise funds for access to clean and affordable water.
Some Facts about Water around the World
- Almost 80% of the waste water flows back into the ecosystem without being treated or reused worldwide.
- Approximately 1.8 billion people are dependable on a source of contaminated drinking water, putting them at risk of contracting cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio.
- About 1.1 billion people, globally, live over 1 km away from their source of water, and get just 5 litres of water per person each day. This is shocking seeing that a person requires almost 125 litres on an average, every day.
- Each day, women spend an estimated 200 million hours collecting water for household use.
- According to the WHO, almost 842,000 deaths every year are attributable to unsafe water, poor sanitation and About 99% of these deaths are reported from the developing countries.
- Diarrhea, worldwide, is the major cause of illness and death. Almost 88% of all diarrheal deaths are down to shortage of access to sanitation facilities, unsafe drinking water and inadequate water for hygiene.
- About 90% of deaths from diarrhea are children under the age of 5. On an average, a child dies every 20 seconds from a water-borne illness, mainly in developing countries.
Measures for Conserving Water & Sustainable Development
- There is a crucial requirement to extend ‘green’ infrastructure and synchronize it with ‘grey’ infrastructure wherever possible. By planting trees, developing new forests, reconnecting rivers to flood plains, and restoring wetlands, we can rebalance the water cycle, and thereby, improve health and livelihoods of people.
- Wastewater needs to be used as a resource. Safely treated wastewater is a sustainable source of water, which can be further used for watering plants, generating power and much more.
- Rain water harvesting is a sustainable measure that can be practiced by digging ponds, lakes and canals. The filtered rain water can be used further for toilets, home gardening, lawn irrigation, and small scale agriculture.
- Protecting groundwater resources from contamination and sustainable use of groundwater is another favorable method for water conservation.
- Improving water management practices that decrease the use or increase the beneficial use of water.
- Educating people about efficient usage of water, and avoiding any activity that damages the water quality.
Water, all in all, is crucial for the existence of this world. This World Water Day, let’s pledge to save water and promote the idea of sustainable development for the betterment of the humankind as well as the planet.
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