“Water- a bequest of nature” bases all innovations in curbing water crisis to make our blue planet green and sustainable.
Look for answers in the nature! This is the theme this year for World Water Day. Every year, March 22 is observed as World Water Day which is to focus on importance of water in our lives. Nonetheless, do we need an annual day for emphasizing how critical a resource water is? Are we not undermining its importance by dedicating just a day to talk about water, when the fact is that every single cell of our body subsists on water? It is an irony that water comprises of about 75 % of our body but so little of our thinking! Today, over 2 billion people do not have access to safe drinking water and they use water contaminated with faeces which leads to epidemics like typhoid, cholera etc.
Around the world, over 30 countries are facing shortage of water and densely populated countries are at a higher risk of water scarcity. This abysmal situation is a result of fact that we do not have unlimited supply of water and the only water available is what we have now. Around 97 % of the water is brackish water which is unfit for drinking and only 1 % of the fresh water is suitable for drinking as the other 2 % is frozen in glaciers. Drought is looming large on many cities and recent water crisis in Cape Town is a testimony to it.
This year World Water Day theme is ‘Nature for Water’ which is to mobilize resources, time and effort towards finding natural solutions to the challenges confronted in the domain of water availability and treatment in 21st century. The problem with resolving the water challenges is that it is assumed as a commodity and not a natural resource by many which leads to water management in a non-natural way.
Water is a cycle which never stops indicating that water needs to be approached in a holistic manner rather than in isolated silos. Water management starts with fixing natural ecosystems that affects the quality as well as quantity of water available for all flora and fauna on earth. According to the Sustainable Development Goal 6, commitment for making safe water accessible to everyone by 2030 relies on restoring natural ecology along with reduction in pollution levels.
A majority of wastewater from all points of consumption, such as homes, industry and agriculture goes into the natural streams of water without getting treated or reused. This leads to environmental pollution as well as irrecoverable loss of nutrients and materials. The wastewater management should be an integral part of conserving water as there are myriad of applications which can use wastewater.
Nature provides a significant water infrastructure which balances, supplements and substitutes the man-made infrastructure such as dams, canals and reservoirs. The natural infrastructure is not only economical but also logical in that it does not require consistent upkeeping and management. But, the underlying idea behind using nature for water is the thriving ecosystem that is both source and user of water. Thus, a thought which is vital to water security is ‘Water for Nature and Nature for Water’.
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