As the world population tripled in the 21st century, the use of water also increased six times compared to the previous century. With the massive increase of population the depletion of natural resources like water can pose a serious threat to the human race if proper steps to conserve water are not taken immediately.
India’s humongous and ever growing population is putting pressure on all the natural resources of the country, especially water. Most of the water resources are contaminated by sewage, industrial and agricultural effluents. India has made considerable progress in providing clean and safe drinking water to its citizens, but gross disparity and negligence in distribution of safe drinking water still exists across the country. As it reached the urban population dwelling in the cities, access to drinking water improved. But the World Bank estimated that approximately 21 per cent of communicable and fatal diseases in India are related to or are caused by impure water. Diarrhoea alone is the cause of 1,600 deaths per day in India. Lack of knowledge and education about hygienic practices also continues to be a problem in India. Usage of latrines is very poor in the rural areas and a minuscule number of people amounting to 14 per cent of the rural population have access to a latrine. There are several problems in Indian agriculture such as water logging and salinity, displacement and rehabilitation of farmers due to migration depending on the monsoon, declining water usage efficiency in irrigation, depleting level of ground water,
India has made considerable progress in providing clean and safe drinking water to its citizens, but gross disparity and negligence in distribution of safe drinking water still exists across the country.
under utilisation of water resources. Seventy per cent of all the consumable water is being utilised by agriculture. The need for technological advances in crop irrigation is inevitable as 42 per cent of water used for agriculture is lost through inefficient irrigation practices. There are several ways in which water can be conserved.
Gray Water Use
The water that is used for washing kitchen sinks and tubs, washing machines, mopping floors is called gray water. Gray water if stored can again be reutilised for gardening, lawn maintenance, landscaping, etc. The City of St. Petersburg, Florida, implemented an urban dual distribution system for reclaimed water for purposes other than providing drinkable water. This system provides reclaimed water for more than 7,000 residential homes and businesses in Florida and can be adapted by India also.
- More than a billion people (one-sixth of the world) lack access to clean water.
- 2.6 billion people (40 per cent of the world) lack adequate sanitation.
- 1.5 billion people suffer from water borne parasites (worms, protozoa, bacteria).
- 6000 children die daily from water borne disease. In the last 10 years more kids have died from diahorrea diseases than all people killed in armed conflict since World War II.
- 30,000 people die daily from drinking bad water.
- 300,000 died in the Boxing Day Tsunami in 2004.
- Half of the hospital beds in the world are occupied with patients suffering from water borne disease.
- 80 per cent of world disease are due to inadequate water or sanitation.
- In the developing world, women and children walk miles to get water. The UN estimates that the average is 40 pounds of water carried 4 miles. This takes hours, can’t attend school/work, deforms the spine and can leave women vulnerable to assault.
India’s Annual Renewable Fresh Water Availability per person
Year water per person in cubic meters