Water is essential for life on earth. Water is needed for growing food, keeping ourselves clean, generating power, controlling fire and most importantly to stay alive! This list is simply non-ending. This shows that water is an integral part of our daily life and we are heavily dependent on it.
Water conservation: Refers to reducing the usage of water and recycling of waste water for different purposes such as cleaning, manufacturing, and agricultural irrigation.
Fresh Water Availability:
* Two thirds of the surface of the Earth covered with water, so you might be thinking why it is a problem. It is because most human uses require fresh water with about 97.5% of the water on the Earth, salt water it leaves only 2.5% to be fresh water. Furthermore, two thirds of it is made up of ice frozen in glaciers and polar ice caps. The remaining majority is groundwater with a very small fraction present above ground or in the air. * Access to safe drinking water has improved over the last decades in almost every part of the world, but approximately one billion people still lack access to safe water and over 2.5 billion lack accesses to adequate sanitation. There is a clear correlation between access to safe water and GDP per capita. * A recent report of 2009 suggests that by 2030, in some developing regions of the world, water demand will exceed supply by 50%. * Water plays an important role in the world economy, as it functions as a solvent for a wide variety of chemical substances and facilitates industrial cooling and transportation.
* 97 % of the Earth’s water is salt water? * The percentage of the world’s total water is available to drink is less than 1 %. * Water conservation refers to reducing the usage of water and recycling of waste water for different purposes like domestic usage, industries, agriculture etc. * Over the years rising populations, growing industrialization, and expanding agriculture have pushed up the demand for water. * Efforts have been made to collect water by building dams, reservoirs and digging wells; some countries have also tried to recycle and desalinate sea water. * Water conservation has become the need of the day.
* The method of recharging ground water by harvesting rainwater is gaining importance in many cities. * Water conservation can be done through what you do, not by what you know. * In the forests, water seeps gently into the ground due to vegetation cover. This groundwater in turn feeds wells, lakes, and rivers. Protecting forests means protecting water ‘catchments’. In ancient India, people worshipped Nature and one of them was Water.
AT A STAKE:
The importance of protecting our water resource cannot be overstated. Regrettably, in countries like Canada that are blessed with an abundance of fresh water, there is continuous misuse and abuse of the resource: household toilets that use 20 liters per flush when 6 liters would do, and to industrial plants and municipalities that use water bodies as convenient sewers. About 70 percent of the earth’s surface is covered with water. Of that, only 0.3 percent is usable by humans. The remaining 99.7 percent is either unusable salt water or unavailable fresh water. And, most of the 0.3 percent is out of reach, locked up in icecaps and glaciers. Water is a commodity that is essential to life on this planet. Plants and animals need clean water to survive. Humans rely on finite supplies of freshwater to stay alive, without it people cannot live more than a few days. Almost everything we do uses water in some way.
Unfortunately, all of earth inhabitants share 1 percent of all the water on earth. And with exploding human population growth, especially in poor countries, these finite supplies get quickly used up. The water we have now is all there will ever be. We cannot quickly produce more water. It can form on its own through the ecosystem but that takes centuries, whereas using up the earth’s water resources takes just a few seconds by turning on a tap. It is our responsibility to not only conserve water, but to make sure that it stays clean as well. According to the World Bank, as many as two billion people lack adequate sanitation facilities to protect them from water-borne disease, while a billion lack access to clean water altogether. “According to the United Nations, which has declared 2005-2015 the “Water for Life” decade, 95 percent of the world’s cities still dump raw sewage into their water supplies?” Thus it should come as no surprise to know that 80 percent of all the health maladies in developing countries can be traced. Water wastage
People waste water in their homes without even realizing it. We have become so accustomed to have a 24 hour supply of water to meet all of our needs from cooking, to cleaning, to drinking, that we sometimes forget that we do not have an infinite supply of water. Besides using renewable energy in the home to cut back on the use of electricity, we must also learn how to save our water supply. Here are a few tips on how to do so.
• The first thing you should do is check for leaks in taps, pipes, and dishwasher hoses which can cause over 2,000 liters of water per month to be wasted. Repairing any leaks will save you a ton of money and you will also be saving the environment. • In the same way that you can buy renewable energy, you can also buy water efficient taps that will make the most of your water and will ensure that you are not wasting any while the tap is running. • To save both water and energy, if you’re not already using green energy, then you should wait until your dishwasher is completely full before running it. On average, dishwashers use approximately 40 liters of water per load, but thanks to features that some dishwasher have, you can specify that it is a light load, or rinse only, or air dry. All of these features allow you to save both water and energy. Goals of Water Conservation
The goals of water conservation efforts include as follows:
Sustainability: To ensure availability for future generations, the withdrawal of fresh water from an ecosystem should not exceed its natural replacement rate.
Water efficiency: Water efficiency can be defined as the accomplishment of a function, task, process, or result with the minimal amount of water feasible, or an indicator of the relationships between the amount of water needed for a specific purpose and the amount of water used, occupied or delivered.
Energy conservation: Water pumping, delivery, and wastewater treatment facilities consume a significant amount of energy. In some regions of the world over 15% of total electricity consumption is devoted to water management.
Habitat conservation: Minimizing human water use helps to preserve fresh water habitats for local wildlife and migrating water flow, as well as reducing the need to build new dams and other water diversion infrastructure.
Water conservation: Water conservation refers to reducing the usage of water and recycling of waste water for different purposes such as cleaning, manufacturing, and agricultural irrigation.
Water Saving Tips
* Monitor your water for unusually high use. Your bill and your water meter can help you to discover leaks. * Water your lawn and garden in the morning or evening when the temperatures are cooler, to minimize evaporation. * Wash your fruits and vegetables in a pan of water. Reuse it to water the plants. * Check outdoor faucets, sprinklers and hoses for leaks.
* Upgrade older toilets with water efficient models * Water can also be conserved by landscaping with native plants. * Shorten your shower by a minute you will save up to 150 gallons per month. Taps with low flow and high pressure can be used. * Put a weighted object in the toilet tank to displace water so less is used with each flush in conventional water closets. * Run only full loads in the washing machine and dishwasher. EXTRA MEASURES: There is a gap between the seasonal availability of water and its equitable supply throughout the year. Accordingly the storage of water and passage through soils is very important. It is well known that about 70% area in this country is subject to varying degree of water stress. There are areas with heavy rainfall but water problems become predominant during non-monsoon periods.
It is thus a matter of concern to create a redistribution system and requirements as and when it is needed. Although there are many methods for water management, the two important methods are mentioned as follows. Rain Water Harvesting: Rain Water Harvesting as a method of utilizing rain water for domestic and agricultural use is already widely used throughout the world. It is a method which has been used since ancient times and is increasingly being accepted as a practical method of providing potable water in development projects throughout the world. It has wide application also in urban and peri-urban areas where the reliability and quality of piped water is increasingly being questioned. Despite these facts the percentage of households using rain water harvesting in Zimbabwe both in urban and rural areas is remarkably low.
Social solutions: water conservation programs are typically initiated at the local level, by either municipal water utilities or regional governments. Common strategies include public outreach campaigns, tiered water rates (charging progressively higher prices as water use increases), or restrictions on outdoor water use such as lawn watering and car washing.
Watershed Management: A watershed is an area bounded by the divide line of water flow so that a distinct drainage basin of any small or big water course or stream can be identified. The rain falling over this area will flow through only one point of the whole watershed. In other words, the entire area will be drained only by one stream or water course. In this way we will have definitive water resource which can be assessed and analyzed for planning for the optimum utilization through ground water, wells, tube wells, small ponds, bigger tanks or reservoirs. Watershed management is very important for rainfall and resultant run-off.
More than 900 watersheds of the flood prone rivers have been identified and are at present in operation. The development of delayed through propagation of water harvesting technology is also based on the concept of micro watershed. Himalayas are one of the most critical watersheds in the world. The damage to reservoirs and irrigation systems and misused Himalayan slopes is mounting as are the costs for the control measures during the flood season every year. The vast hydroelectric power potential can be harnessed from the Himalayas watersheds on a sustainable basis.
The concept of water shed management has been extended to agro-industrial watersheds which take care of agro-industrial development.
Awareness on Soak Pit: A soak pit is a covered porous-walled chamber that allows water to slowly soak in the ground. Pre-settled effluent from a collection and storage or treatment chamber is discharged to the underground chamber from where it infiltrates into the surrounding soil.
• We must use our water wisely. Earlier water has been abundant resource and unfortunately was used carelessly. Today water is a precious resource to us and to future generations. Life wouldn’t be the same without it. • Water is one of nature’s most important gifts to mankind. Essential to life, the survival of all living beings depends on water.
Courtney from Study Moose
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