WORLD WATER DAY 2021: VALUE OF WATER
Today March 22 “The World Water Day”. The idea for a World Water Day was put forward in 1992 at the United Nations Conference on Environment & Development held at Rio-de-Janeiro in Brazil. March 22nd of every year is observed as ‘World Water Day and this year the theme is VALUING WATER. Clean water and sanitation for all are included as GOAL 6 of 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. Centre for Environmental Efficiency hereby puts forward some points for serious deliberations
Just like air, water is a free resource of MOTHER NATURE and is occurring in cycles. Towards the twenty-first century, substantial losses due to less ‘accessibility and availability of freshwater’ are common problems. The price of commodities increased and profitability reduced due to decreased availability and accessibility of water. It is also reflected in our consumption and GDP calculations as increased manpower and energy are expended for the production, consumption and repair processes. But the question is whether these calculations are justifiably evaluated? as the long term consequences of the present trend may hamper the overall human wellbeing and prosperity.
Under-ground freshwater levels are depleting year by year with mechanised pumping and increased use of tube wells. Faster rainwater runoff consequent to deforestation and increasing ground coverage are also reasons resulting in reduced groundwater percolation.
Underground freshwater levels are our fixed deposits and if consumed without replenishment it can create serious long term consequences. Depletion of underground freshwater levels has a diminishing effect on the EE&CC of the region.
When the water levels go down forest-flora and fauna under-perform and may lead to situations like the occurrence of forest fires. This again aggravates the scenario due to increased global warming and diminished ecosystems services/biological capacity. Pumping out water from deeper regions and transporting water to deprived areas, causes increased manpower and energy, which results in more ecological footprint and loss of human development. The declining of freshwater levels has a diminishing effect on the nutritional value of flora and the health of fauna which have repercussions on human wellbeing and prosperity.
The need of the hour is the monitoring of the underground water levels and implement remedial measures to improve/maintain them rather than allowing them to decline year by year.
Some remedial measures are scientific recharging of open wells and bore-wells during rainy seasons. It shall be made mandatory through legal measures. Rainwater runoff can be slowed down by the creation of check dams and to generate hydroelectric clean energy.
Maintaining underground freshwater levels are very important to maintain/enhance the EE&CC of the region which are two strong indicators of sustainable prosperity and to achieve sustainable development goals. The EE&CC method takes stock of the overall sustainability of a region from which remedial and corrective, policies, programs and projects are evolved.