“I want to be like water, I want to slip through fingers but hold up a ship”
Water is life. Chemically defined as containing two molecules of hydrogen and one molecule of oxygen i.e. H2O
How much is the water content of this planet? Glancing a few statistics we get to know:-
- Earth is comprised of 70% water and 30% land.
- But quiet surprisingly the amount of usable or drinkable water is only 2.5%. Rest is present in the oceans and seas in the saline form.
- Even in that 2.5% only 1% is accessible and the rest of it maximum is trapped in ice caps and in the glaciers of Arctic and Antarctic region.
Ironically just like the earth a major portion of human body is comprised of water. Water fuels all the physical activities of human body.
- Human body is comprised of 50-65% water.
- amount of water in infant is much higher, averaging to 75-80% dropping to 65% by one year of age
- Body needs to maintain this water content equilibrium, if unbalanced it will result in dehydration, fall in blood pressure, difficulty in breathing due to lack of air dilution and finally the person might black-out.
“The earth has enough for everybody’s need but not enough for everybody’s greed” -said Mahatma Gandhi.
The deficiency of water is slowly becoming a growing concern for the society. Day by day the sources of water are diminishing in its number. Nowadays due to urbanization and the pressure of human population on land the water sources are over pressurized.
Water is a renewable source of energy. Renewable resources are those resources which can never end in other words which can be replenished. Solar energy, Wind energy are other such examples. Water available in the oceans is available in infinity.
But all of it is saline water filled with impurities. Portable water i.e. water that is fit for drinking and is free from impurities but it is a nonrenewable source. Nonrenewable resources are those resources which cannot be replenished. Once they get over they are permanently over.
Water can be categorized into a few types depending on its mineral content, drinkable quality and uses.
- Portable water- contains no harmful germs or microorganisms. Contains minerals. Usually used for drinking purposes.
- Purified water- less purified but contains no microorganisms or harmful chemicals. Mineral content is medium to high. used for household cleaning purposes
- Distilled water- also called pharmaceutical water. Contains no germs, no microorganisms, and no minerals. It is usually very blank or flat in taste.
- Spring water- it is the unpurified form of water. It contains germs, micro-organisms and minerals. It might also contain small rocks and algae. It is unfit for drinking.
Water can be tested with some of its physical qualities like:-
- suspended solids
Water is precious. We should save it to the utmost extent that we can. Here are some ways by which we can save water:-
- Turn off tap while brushing your teeth.
- Fix the leaks. Be it drain or pipe, bucket or tap fix it as soon as you encounter one.
- Choose efficient fixtures. Water saving fixtures, intelligent bathrooms is now setting new trends.
- Older shower heads can use as much as 5 gallons of water per minute.So take short showers.
- Use wastewater or gray water from the bath, washing machines or dish washing on the garden.
- Dual flush units have been quiet efficient nowadays to conserve water. We should all convert our toilet flush units to dual flush system.
Water is not only needed to homely activities such as washing, bathing, cleaning. It is also used in various spheres- industrial and commercial. It is a major key to a country’s economy. Desert areas do not develop much due to this reason.
Now we have stated the usefulness of water but coming to its degradation we see that this valuable resource is finishing fast. A time may come that there won’t be a drop left to quench our thirst. What are we gifting our future generations? Is this the world that we are developing and innovating for, where wars will be fought for water?
Along with water, food chain is also linked. Farmers can’t grow crops it the crops are not well irrigated. But if water is not available how are they supposed to grow food? Hence along with water comes in famine, food deficiency and malnutrition.
Maximum water that melts from the ice caps streams and goes into the seas through the rivers. Freshwater sources are limited. Ponds, lakes, rivers are our only sources of freshwater.
What about the creatures that survives in freshwater? Fishes, shrimps, otters, squids etc. are some of the freshwater creatures. There are secondary predators who survive on them. If primary creatures (ones that form the base of the food chain) die then the higher organisms cannot survive.
The basic of all primary organisms are plants. Plants need water to go through photosynthesis. If water is not available in adequate quantity they will shrivel up and eventually die.
If plants die there will be oxygen deficiency. Life on this planet will cease to exist. Not only have that plants transpired water vapour which cools down the surrounding atmosphere. Temperatures will rise up if the vegetation cover reduces.
Hence we have to follow a simple equation
“A drop of water is worth more than a sack of gold to a thirsty man”
So it’s high time that we straighten our chairs, sit up and do something to save this valuable resource. Every system on this planet has a threshold.
Once that is crossed it will be hard to retrieve it. Mother Nature is still waiting patiently, giving us time to realize our mistakes and correct them. The future generations that we have toiled so hard to build will perish in no time if we keep finishing their share of resources. Hence reduce, reuse, and recycle.