Water, water, water everywhere
Nor any drop to drink. These are the lines in the poem, "The Rime (sic) of the Ancient Mariner” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
Though the poet talks about a situation where the sailor is in the midst of the sea, but can't drink because seawater is salty, the world water shortage is almost the same. Three-fourths of the surface of the earth is covered with seas and oceans yet people on the one-fourth land are struggling with the problem of water shortage as seawater is not fit for drinking.
But the problem of water shortage is getting severe day-by-day due to many reasons. Population rise, deforestation, rapid urbanization, climatic changes leading to environmental imbalance, all contribute towards water shortage. So much so that people have to vacate cities after cities as there is no water.
Water treatment plants and dams have not been able to help as much as the need is. So, water conservation is the dire need of our times. If serious steps are not taken individually and collectively our next generation itself will have to pay a heavy price.
As far as I can see, the first and foremost step is realisation of the problem. So water conservation must be practised at individual level.
Stop water wastage at every possible step. Even children should be made to stop water wastage by closing taps when not in use.
All water leakage should be promptly taken care of promptly.
Rain water harvesting at individual,
group and governmental level is of
prime importance. It takes a lot of willpower and little monetary investment.
Deforestation should be reversed with plantation and proper care of trees.
People should consciously and collectively plan towards adopting eco-friendly lifestyles, like using public transport rather than private transport, using fans instead of air conditioners and using plastic sensibly.
Last but not the least is population control and reducing the urban-rural inequality.
It is so easy to say that individual efforts cannot solve gigantic problems so the government should come forward. But we should not underestimate the collective power of individuals. If no one shirks their responsibility the problems would be solved easily.
A lot of awareness about water shortage and conservation is being created but people are not taking it seriously. Without the required actions being taken, the situation will only worsen and become out of control.