Sunday, November 3, 2013

elixir of life

Vasanth Mysoremath 

Many believe that there will be future wars over water. Humans consume hardly 5 litres of water for drinking and about 20 litres for cooking. For bathing, washing etc., water treated according to standards prescribed is required. Further, water supplied through municipal taps is also old, used and recycled. Some facts: Water, "elixir of life" is a natural resource and has existed since millions of years and there is no extraordinary arrangement for getting water from anywhere from the space and existing water continues to be circulated within the atmosphere around the earth. This available water must be shared equitably between all living beings on earth. Those authorized to handle water are only its trustees and not owners and they have no right to sell or alienate or impound beyond a limit. Around 3/4th of the earth is water of which 97 per cent is saline and unfit for human consumption. Two per cent of the remaining water is frozen. Half the rest is in rivers, streams, rivulets etc., while the balance exists in the form of groundwater. So, there is enough water for everybody for millions of years. Nature has no other system to pump water into the earth from outer space since it may not exist. Water does not vanish and cause deficit. It evaporates, crystallizes, becomes cloud or snow, moves around the earth's atmosphere and depending upon hot or cold atmospheric pressure, it pours as rain and the entire cycle resumes. Some rain or snow pour over the sea but whatever falls on the ground can be useful to all if harvested properly. Water circulates within the earth's atmosphere.
Countries that tried to commoditize water unsuccessfully are reverting to the municipal supply system to ensure equitable distribution of this priceless natural resource. But some people are still trading in it. Current water consumption pattern reveals that we must rejig our requirements/priorities and innovate to protect and harvest/conserve/reuse/recycle either good water or bad water. While people are struggling for minimum quantity of water, many are seen wasting it or use it in excess. Further, some industries use potable water for industrial purposes and let out toxic waste water that becomes permanently unusable. Many farmers also overuse water without adopting scientific methods that prescribe minimum need based water usage for different crops or drip irrigation. The run-off from irrigated lands contains several chemicals from fertilisers and pesticides sprayed. Bottom line: Earth's natural supply system will ensure continuous supply to all living beings because it does not get exhausted nor can it vanish/escape into outer space.
The poor worldwide, traverse miles to fetch even minimum quantity of water. Many diseases are attributed to water-borne impurities. An outbreak of water borne diseases prompts health authorities to advise boiling water. People who consume municipal piped water believing it is pure are affected the most. Hence, even those who cannot afford have started buying bottled water for fear of contracting diseases through municipal water.

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