Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Save the Water
Summer is here and it's time for mangoes, ice creams, cool drinks and thinking up ways to fight the heat. It is also the season when you would like to have several baths and perhaps even a swim to beat the heat. But have you ever-wondered how different summer will be if there was no water? We take water so much for granted yet we cannot live without it. Almost three-fourths of the surface of the earth is covered with water. You may ask, so why worry about water?
But have you realized that 97 per cent of the water on earth is in the oceans? This water cannot be directly used to meet any of our daily needs. Almost two per cent of the water is stored in ice caps and glaciers and again cannot be used, unless melted. That leaves us with just one per cent to meet all the needs of all living beings. This is what we call freshwater and this is found in ponds, lakes, rivers and some of this is underground. Can you think of all the uses of water in our daily lives? It is this one per cent that meets all these needs.
It is because of this scarcity that we have to be really careful about how this water is used. World over there is a growing concern about the depleting water sources. With the increased population and industrial growth around the world, there is more and more demand on water. In cities like Chennai there is a price on drinking water. (The people in Tamil Nadu are luck to face this year’s summer season, because of heavy rain and the plan of Rainwater collecting). Then there is the reality of the skewed distribution of water. We know that there are some localities in our cities that enjoy water all round the clock, while others are deprived for days. The insensitivity of some is glaring when they use this scare resource to hose their cars or water their manicured gardens, and all the while, people go thirsty. There is also the growing pollution of water sources all over the world. This pollution is caused by water released from several industries or sometimes even an accident or disaster in water bodies, which causes the release of pollutants in the water. There are several areas in the country where water has become unfit for drinking because of this.
So next time you keep the tap running, while you brush your teeth or wash your face think about it. By closing the tap, you may be helping someone, somewhere, to get a bucketful of water.