WATER- THE UNIVERSAL SOLVENT
Water is an essential component of our daily life. We drink water every day. More than 50% of the human body is made up of water. Not only humans, but all living organisms starting macro-organisms from plants, animals, reptiles, mushrooms to microorganisms also need water for the survival of life. Water is a chemical compound made up of hydrogen and oxygen. It is made up of several million molecules. About 71% of the earth’s surface is made up of water. And the remaining 29% is continents and islands. 97% of water is salty and only 3% of water is freshwater. An in this 3%, only 1.2% of water is drinkable and the remaining is in the form of glaciers, ice caps, and snow mountains. Water is also known as a universal component because it has the power of dissolving more substances than other liquids. But many people in today’s world are wasting fresh water. This leads to the water scarcity problem.
WATER SCARCITY AND ITS CAUSES
Water scarcity is defined as the insufficient amount of water to meet the demands of water usage within a region. A shortage occurs when there is a rise in demand and not enough supply to meet the demand. Water scarcity occurs because of both natural and human causes. We all know that water is not equally distributed on the earth’s surface, so water scarcity does not occur at the global level but some places are shortage of water. Some of the major causes for water scarcity are listed below:
- INCREASE IN POPULATION: The increase in population increases the water demand. Nowadays people are wasting water without knowing the effects that may cause in future generations.
- POLLUTION OF WATER: Water pollution is another major cause of water scarcity. Many industries release their wastewater into lakes which are the sources of freshwater. The release of harmful chemicals into the water may have several disadvantages include new diseases, loss of habitat for aquatic animals, etc.,
- GLOBAL WARMING: The rise in the earth’s temperature causes global warming. Due to this monsoon failure occurs in some places and those areas suffer from drought which leads to a shortage of water.
- GROUNDWATER POLLUTION: Unwanted usage of fertilizers and pesticides in agriculture may cause groundwater pollution. This makes the groundwater polluted and unable to consume it.
- DEFORESTATION: The cutting of trees over a large area is known as deforestation. We all know that rainwater is the source of water. Deforestation leads to monsoon failure in some places which in turn causes water scarcity in that area.
HOW TO SAVE WATER?
It is everyone’s responsibility to save water for the present and future generations. Here are some tips to save water:
- Recycle the water. Use the domestic wastage of water for watering the plants. This reduces water scarcity.
- Create awareness programs among people to understand the importance of fresh water and the ways to save it for the present and future generations.
- Improve the irrigation practices in agriculture. Use sprinkler irrigation to reduce the wastage of water wherever possible.
- Use organic manure in agricultural lands rather than pesticides and chemical fertilizers. This will not affect the groundwater and hence no water scarcity.
- Limit your usage of water in the house. Turn off your water while brushing. Check for the leakage of taps. Avoid usage of the shower.
- Practicing rainwater harvesting is the most efficient way to save water. It increases the groundwater level and thus no water shortage.
- Solar desalination and smart irrigation system help in sustainable water management.
- Invest in new water-conserving technologies in the areas of water scarcity.