There is more than 326 million trillion gallons of water on Earth. Out of this, only 1% is consumable and 2% is locked up in ice caps and glaciers.
Currently, there are about 9.17 billion people on earth wanting their share of 1%. However, population is not the biggest trigger of the water crisis the world faces today. It is reckless overuse.
Water, being key to life and central to societal development, continues to grow in demand by the hour. As temperatures also rise due to climate change, utilization of water has doubled. The heat forces us to take 2 showers a day, sometimes even 3!
What we don’t realize is that contrary to what we have learnt; water is actually a finite resource. It is the new oil. The supply of water is fixed and you can’t make more of it. You can also live without oil and fossil fuels, but you can’t live without water and that forms the base for the sheer importance of the thing.
Pollution, growing populations and increasing demand for water — for use in everything from agriculture and energy production to health care and manufacturing — has reduced the usable water supply further.
In India, although the immediate reason for the exacerbating water crisis is always assumed to be monsoon failure and bad rainy spells, the issue of over utilization is more often than not neglected. For a country with only 4% of the world’s water resources but 16% of the global population, water is akin to diamonds. Spending on clean water has become a part of the monthly budgets; sometimes even more important that a good meal.
As population and urbanization continue to grow, there is a proportional increase in the need for more water especially in the high rise residential cocoons that mark the new era of community living.
With a common monthly fee being paid, a score on consumption is never kept. If the tap is left running throughout that morning’s brushing session, the pinch is never felt. In today’s fast paced world, if it’s a call between a relaxing bath that needs 20 gallons of more water than usual and a shower, the former is an obvious choice. Many people living in the developed urban jungle often take water for granted. But it is a finite commodity, and it’s slowly disappearing.
At the current usage rates, it is being predicted that the world will have only 60 percent of the water it needs by 2030.
Today, water is touted to be the biggest societal and economic risk for the next ten years. Ensuring equitable distribution of this resource starts with conservation. With the growth spurt in technology, leveraging it to give conservation an impetus would be the smartest move we have. A solution that can feed us information on usage everyday so we can monitor and optimize water consumption is the need of the hour.