All the water that will ever be is, right now.
Blog Action Day, an annual event held every October 15, focuses on Water as its action theme for this year.
Water, one of the basic human rights, is getting scarce at an unimaginable pace. The earth’s natural systems are no longer able to replenish this resource like before. Given this scenario, major global conflicts in future will be for water and for lands where the rivers flow.
It is not without a reason that water is the next commodity to fight for. This ‘manna from heaven ’, ‘liquid gold’ and ‘the oil of tomorrow’ is all set to make a mark on the stock exchanges soon.
We never know the worth of water till the well is dry.
Five years back, my old bore well gave copious water at 150 feet depth. It dried. We had to go additional 500 feet to keep ourselves watered. It is unimaginable that in a span of 5 years (not lifetimes), the water table has reduced by hundreds of feet. This is a grim reminder to the fact that there is definitive end to the natural resources but not to man’s needs. And that in this lifetime we are witnessing the start of the world’s worst water crisis.
Water in India is a paradox. It has always been the boon and the bane for the length and breadth of the nation. North India gives birth to water. South India fights for the rivers that flow. Northwest India is a water-starved desert. And Eastern India has the highest rainfall that helps none.
And to top it, the water woes in India include contamination, inadequacy, denial, corruption, portability problems, access, deaths & diseases, pollution, irresponsible industrial growth dependant on water, and a whole lot more.
This vast country with handful of rivers transversing through its length and breath, kept the flora, fauna and man alive since early civilizations. Because of water and other natural resources, man settled in this land, made his home, traded and more. That ‘more’ has now resulted in many disputes for water.
Thoughtless and rapid development, urbanization, globalization, etc., continually spell doom for the Earth. From deforestation, accelaration in climate changes, reckless development, to scarcity of natural resources… I do not see any reason why the Earth should not purge itself clean of human (?) beings.
They say that a gifted land is the also the cursed one. In this case, fertile lands with lakes and streams will be the target of many multinationals who can do anything done to suit their balance sheets. A case in the point is the famed unfair contract by Nestle with McCloud. There are far more worse cases in India most of which do not get reported.
India does have a comprehensive water policy and a government department to look into the water affairs of the country… but what good can they be if the aam-junta cares nothing about this precious resource and continues to use it like no tomorrow.
Children of a culture born in a water-rich environment, we have never really learned how important water is to us. We understand it, but we do not respect it.
We have forgotten our ingenious ways of life where every natural resource such as water, was used and not abused. There were no endless showers, hot tubs, rain parties, or huge water tanks to ensure that the water kept running during all ablutions. Water was rationed as per use. There was no concepts of 24/7 water supply where every household had to dig into their bit of land. We, with knowledge, cognizance and responsibility, are continually turning earth into living hell.
Our earth was always a bit of heaven; for heaven is imagined to be a fertile place where pristine waters flow. If not reclaim it, can we just learn to live with whatever little we have. Can we ensure that we leave the same for our kids and future generations to come?
Will we ever stop?