Remember the Geography lessons where we were showed the map of the earth and told how the earth contains 80% water bodies and 20% land. Oh, we were so impressed, so much water!
What our teachers conveniently forgot to tell us is how a major chunk of 80% water is undrinkable and the % of clean water is fast dwindling owing to population boom and urbanization.
See this image, it explains how much water do we really have on the Earth.
The blue sphere includes all the water in the oceans, seas, ice caps, lakes and rivers as well as groundwater, atmospheric water, and even the water in you, your dog, and your Tulsi plant.
Every year, we observe the World Environment Day, we plant saplings, pledge to conserve water and track our carbon foot print. A month later, who cares about those promises and what happens to those ill-fated saplings? GOD alone knows.
Once I shouted at my maid for wasting the water while so many of us are suffering from water shortage. Guess what she replied? It was priceless.
“Mumbai has the sea, so much water in it. Where is the shortage?” For a long time I couldn’t decide whether I should laugh or slap that dumb woman. I simply told her, “Next time you don’t get water in your chawl, go to the sea and drink the salty water, bathe in it and wash your clothes/vessels in it.”
It’s time Charity began at home. All we have to do is be a little observant while dealing with water.
- Keep the tap turned off while brushing your teeth/shaving (saves 2 l water. Yes, my niece actually checked as part of her school activities).
- Ask the maid to start the tap only for washing utensils and not while rubbing soap on them.
- Don’t throw away the water in which you soaked your lentils, rice etc. Use it to water your plants.
- And this you may find it funny, but it’s quite practical. Remember the line from the movie “Meet the Fockers” where Dustin Hoffman says, “If it’s yellow let it mellow if its brown flush it down”. It’s one of the simplest water-saving practices you can observe at home.
I read it somewhere that the next world war could be due to Water Crisis. In many places in Africa, people are forced to drink animal urine because there is no water. Just imagine their plight!
As I am writing this, I am pained to know that somewhere someone is dying of thirst while somewhere someone has forgotten to turn off the tap. It’s the truth, however inconvenient it might be.