Water is one of the most essential components of nature that has made life possible on earth. Seventy-five percent of the earths’ surface is covered with water, though all of it cannot be used by all living organisms. Every form of life depends on water directly and indirectly. It is a basic necessity of life. Today the demand of water by humans is seen for almost all purposes, from drinking to domestic, industrial and agricultural activities. Such huge demand and excessive needs have now started taking a toll of the natural water resources.
The annual consumption of water per individual has increased rapidly over the past few decades. With growing industrialization, urbanization and extensive agriculture being practiced, the water demand has risen to dangerously high levels. Most of the available water is diverted to urban residential and commercial areas which leaves negligible amount for the rural people. Moreover, water pollution is one environmental concern as a result of which there is dearth of potable water. Toxic chemicals, agricultural and domestic wastes and industrial effluents seep into water resources making them unfit for use. The issue of shortage of water is further aggravated because many people are careless about water and cause wastage in large amounts. They waste water by keeping the taps on when not in use or using excess amounts of water for small purposes. Many industrial processes like production of paper, leather processing etc. use a lot of water too. This leaves with no water for some remote parts of our country.
The need of the hour is to prevent and curb pollution of water. If water pollution is reduced, we will get a larger water reserve which can meet more demands. On an individual’s part, we should minimize water consumption to the least possible. Basic careful steps like closing the tap while brushing, using buckets instead of showers and hoses etc. make a lot of difference if taken care by all of us. On the domestic front, we can recycle and reuse water. Waste water from the kitchen can be used to water plants. Industries can also do their part by treating wastes and not dumping toxic chemicals into water resources. Alternatives can be devised and used for industrial activities that require a lot of water. Growing trees i.e. afforestation helps us maintain our ground water table as they bind soil and also help in purifying the ground water. Rain water harvesting techniques can be incorporated in all large buildings which help us store and use rain water. Canals and water diversion channels can be constructed from areas receiving heavy rainfall to dry and water scarce regions. All such steps and many others if implemented efficiently will definitely help us fight the problem of water scarcity.