Water is critical for the development of all living forms. It’s the core of socio-economic development, balanced ecosystem, energy, food production and of course a crucial and foremost necessity of survival itself. Serving as a major link between society and environment water controls the adaptation of climate change as well.
Whoever you are and wherever you are, water is your human right. Right to water, entitles everyone to have an access over sufficient and safe water for personal and domestic use along with right to sanitation which entitles everyone to have an access to sanitation in all spheres of life.
World Water Problems
Recognizing the water cycle as a biophysical process is essential to achieve sustainable water management, degradation of clean water and securing the ecosystem services that humans rely on.
- Water contamination: Used water is wastewater. With the growth of population, there’s growth in production, industries, power plants which causes several ways to contaminate water. Sewage and wastewater, oil pollution, and radioactive pollution are major forms of contamination.
- Water scarcity: Water scarcity is one of the major global concerns. Only a very small fraction of total water is fresh water. It’s not just the pressure of population, excessive use is also the cause of scarcity. The global population tripled in the 20th century, but the use of water increased six times. Water scarcity can be even exacerbated to drought which is more scaring other disaster type.
- Lack of sanitation facilities: Scarcity of water and lack of sanitation services often severely affect women and girls, who not only suffer health repercussions but personal danger when proper sanitation services are not available and not secure. Diarrheal diseases, long associated with poor water and sanitation, account for 1 in 9 child deaths worldwide with diarrhea- the third leading cause of death among children under the age of 5.
Solutions To Water Problems
- Awareness: Educating people leads to awareness. People should be aware of the problems of water scarcity, lack of sanitation, hygiene, unequal distribution of water and plights associated with it. It is the first step where a person thinks of taking action towards the conversation of water. Certain companies like Hindustan Unilever are using an emotional approach in their ads defining the consumption and availability of water in the rural area as compared to urban.
- Supporting clean water initiatives: There are some organizations such as charity water, water org., lifewater international, waterlex, save the water and world water council who are taking up initiatives to provide clean water to those who are in need. Supporting these initiatives in for of donations or volunteering in these organizations is one way we can contribute towards water conservation.
- Wise consumption: Saving small drops can also bring a huge difference. Keeping a check on everyday activities like switching from high-flow showers to low-flow showers, eliminating leakages and saving water in all the ways possible is a small initiative that starts at home.
SDG 6: 2019 world water day theme
Sustainable development goals aimed at the expansion of international support towards access to safe water and sanitation all over the world. Through Goal 6, the world countries have resolved to achieve universal access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation and hygiene to all in the next 15 years.
SDG targets at:
1. Achieve access to safe water which is also affordable
2. Achieve access to hygiene and sanitation.
3. Improve the quality and safe reuse of water.
4. Increase efficiency of use of water and ensure freshwater supplies
5. Implement integrated water resources management (IWRM) including trans boundary cooperation.
6. Restore the water-related ecosystem and protect them.
India and Goal 6
There has been an increase in the proportion of Indian households with access to improved water sources from 68% in 1992 to 89% in 2015-16. Although according to the World Bank, more than 520 million in India are defecating in open which is highest in the world. This figure is expected to have reduced significantly given that improving sanitation is a key priority of the government which has introduced several flagship programs including the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan to clean India, the National Rural Drinking Water Program, and Namami Gange, which aims at the conservation of the River Ganga.
Over to you
Saving water and helping mankind is the prime responsibility of every citizen of a country. Every individual has right to water and sanitation and it is everybody’s responsibility to conserve water and support all the initiatives which are working hard in order to have every citizen access to their right.