Water is one of the five basic essential elements which are required for any kind of life form to originate and flourish (the other four being ‘Vayu or air, Agni or heat, Dharti or earth and Aakash or space). As a matter of fact, in this entire universe ours is the only planet which can support life-form. Rather the very sustenance of life on earth wholly depends upon the availability of this precious element. We have been endowed with an environment to survive and have a biosphere, without which our planet would have been as lifeless and desolate as any other heavenly bodies in the space just spinning around in the musky depths of vastness and depth of this galaxy.
Earth is popularly known as blue planet. Since it seems pretty blue when viewed from the outer space. The reason being more than 70% of earth’s surface is covered with water. It is surprising that with plenty of water all around we have at our disposal to drink about less than 1%. It is a fact that only this much is fit for human consumption and ever we have scarcity of water.
Although the planet has tremendous resources like the vast oceans, seas, rivers, lakes, streams and rivulets etc. yet the quantity of water that is potable is very, very limited. It has been well said “Water, water every where, yet not a drop to drink.” proves true in this age of human population explosion. Perhaps it is the total fresh water bodies which are readily accessible for humans for their petite needs, these being lakes, rivers, reservoirs and the underground sources enough to be tapped at affordable costs.
It is most unfortunate that many parts of the world experience droughts and famines and water shortage due to low and inadequate rainfalls. The reasons are many. There has been intensive urbanization and housing. Active deforestation has been taking place throughout the world, denuding the earth of its green cover. There have been water diversions without planning and rampant industrial farming. The demand of global water consumption has doubled. According to a UN study more than one billion people on the earth already lack an access to fresh drinking water and dirty drinking water is a big killer in itself. Most of the victims being small children. Scanty rainfalls make the situation acute during the peak summer months.
Thus the urgent need of the hour is to popularize water harvesting techniques to all so that we do not aggravate the situation further as ‘each drop is precious’. Masses be awared about the importance of conservation of water and adapt to water saving measures. This calamity is staring us right in the face and if appropriate steps are not taken now, it may be too late.