We shall drink water from toilet seat
Drinking water from sewage
How about drinking water from a toilet? Sounds funny but that is a reality and what makes it more amusing hat this news comes from a country like America. There is a sign post that reads ‘Hello thirsty visitors, you’re welcome in South California to drink five years old water right out of the toilet seats’. That may sound like a marketing strategy but that is a reality. The water used in that area is provided by ‘East Valley Water Reclamation Project’. The project has made it possible to drink sewerage water drinkable and you will be surprised to read that the time required for the process is no less than five years that only means it takes whole of five years to make the sewage water reach to consumer.
You will be more surprised to read that prior to this project came in existence the area used to import its drinking water from Canada. We should not be surprised to see such projects coming up in different countries for different reasons either for shortage of drinking due to natural reasons or the way the water is being wasted so unmindful. That reminds me of a joke popular in New South Wales, Australia that says when an alien arrived in a Sydney home he found toilet more bacteria free compared to kitchen so he chose to drink from toilet seat rather than kitchen sink. That might be a joke but the reality is not too far from the fact we are wasting too much of water and if the same trends goes on we shall soon have to use far more contaminated water.
Drinking water scarcity
As per rough estimates almost 97% of water is available in oceans and seas, 2.5% in form of Ice and snow and we get only 0.5% for our use on earth. This use includes irrigation and for drinking including animals. There is another fact that the water is not equally available to all the countries but most of the water is available in the US and especially Canada and this unequal distribution is one of the bigger reasons of water scarcity in rest of the world. As we hear from time to time that the reason of World War-3 will be nothing but water seems to prove it right when we hear disputes between countries and even states over the water related issues. There are so many parts in our own country that keep fighting over the issue of water. Some of these cases you can hear from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Even within states itself the riots over water are common in Bhavnagar and Rajkot in Gujarat state.
Population a big problem
You know I remember the day well that was almost 12 years before our country touched the figure of one billion. I remember it simply for the fact our Prime Minister announced it in a large public meeting and also the large display that keeps on ticking telling you the exact population of the country. We are a country of 1.3 billion today that means we have increased by 300 million people if I put it in other words we have increased as much as the entire population of Australia 15 times over in last decade only. I am shivering by the thought if we keep increasing at present rate we shall be 1.5 billion in next 10 years. I am afraid we shall be facing too many problems of housing, food and drinking water if we fail to control our growth rate at this front in particular.
Pollution another problem
The news about pollution of rivers is too old to repeat. The water of rivers has become too contaminated for drinking use in its natural form so most of our countrymen have to depend on water withdrawn from under the earth. But there is a limit of everything and so is the case with water under the ground. The water level is constantly going down and not it has gone down so low in certain areas that there is no water in many big cities including metros. I remember the time we faced so much trouble due to non availability of water in White Field area of Bangalore in the year 2011-12. We had no option but to purchase water supplied through water tankers at 30-40% extra rates increasing every year. The worst problem that we faced was the water supply was direct from the underground source with no water treatment therefore it was hard and coming from the agricultural area it contained chemicals and other impurities too.
There is no way but to save the world from water crisis we shall have to adopt the formula of 3R- that is Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. We shall have to use the same methods adapted by developed countries. I have seen most developed countries have such a drainage system that saves every drop of water from wastage. There is no shortage of rain water in our country but we know nothing about rain water harvesting and whatever we have implicated in bigger cities not being implicated seriously but everything is being done on paper. We must take this issue seriously on priority basis.
Water is not for free- No way
The fact is, we have forgotten our traditional methods of water conservation and not interested in modern ways that the developed or not so developed countries have already started using for years now. Actually, our problem lies in the mentality of using essential items like water, electricity etc for free. There is no wonder many politicians try to allure the voters of this country on free supply of water and electricity without giving it a dime how they would keep their false promises. We shall have to forget about free usage of costly resources that are otherwise also in short supply due to over population and mindless use of the same.
We shall have to come out of the mentality that water is available and provided to us by nature with no limits whatsoever. The other side of the problem is if a higher water charge is imposed on use of water it will effect poor more than the rich ones but there should be no doubt that we shall have to develop a mentality to know the value of water. We should consume water sparingly and preserve it as much as we possibly can.
Image source - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_conservation
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