Mar 24, 2009

Conserving water

In recent years the water crisis has emerged as a challenging reality that reflects severe problems and issues in the global context which will intensify unless proactive measures are taken to address them. The water problem is twofold, first there are standing environmental challenges in terms of water pollution, scarcity, and drought, and second, there are water crises in terms of international dispute over water right and use because of transboundary geographical extent.Given the extent of transboundary river basins as well as transboundary groundwater resources and freshwater aquifers that cater for the needs of rural and urban communities over the globe, there are 263 transboundary lakes and river basins in 145 countries forming about half of the earth’s land surface. This has also rendered conflicts and issues volatised between states over water which need to share responsibilities and opportunities for cooperation and collaboration through transboundary equitable water management.The Indus basin has transboundary location in Pakistan, India, China, Afghanistan and Nepal. The extensive glaciers of Himalaya, Hindukush, and Karakorum occurring in Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Myanmar serve as the major source of freshwater to people in China as well as South and Central Asia who derive a wide range of benefits from them such as irrigation, hydropower, drinking, daily consumption and transit. Water loss and mismanagement of this invaluable natural asset would herald water scarcity and food shortage affecting economic activities, agriculture and millions of people who depend on this resource in these countries at large. Similarly in Europe the Danube River is in a watershed that includes eighteen countries – more than any transboundary basin in the world.Sharing the responsibility to manage transboundary waters for current and future generations has global implications and potential for prevailing peace and harmony in the world. The world’s available freshwater that transcends most political and administrative boundaries must be shared among and between individuals, economic sectors, intrastate jurisdictions and sovereign nations, while ensuring environmental sustainability.Nonetheless, growth of economy and needs of human population have played leading and major driving factors of tension, conflicts and disputes over water within countries. Water-related conflicts and contestations may lead in the near future to water wars both in the developed and developing worlds. Because of its importance water has assumed geo-political status which is an essential instrument for economic and social development in the world.Because of its diversified uses and extreme importance in our daily life, it is imperative to conserve water. We cannot imagine survival on the face of earth without water, whose consumption has almost doubled in the last 50 years. As a matter of fact, of the total water 97.5 per cent is in ocean, 2.5 per cent is freshwater (of which 68.7 per cent is in the form of glaciers, 30.1 per cent ground water, and 0.8 per cent permafrost), and surface/atmospheric water is 0.4 per cent (of which freshwater lakes constitute 67.4 per cent, other wetlands 8.5 per cent, soil moisture 12.2 per cent, rivers 1.6 per cent, atmosphere 9.5 per cent, plants and animals 0.8 per cent).It is our moral obligation to take care of this comparatively little available freshwater quantity of life-supporting resource, because there is no alternate option to switch over to such a free natural gift at all. It’s unethical to have this portion of the available water polluted and contaminated by and large.Both quality and quantity of water is extremely indispensable for human health, animals and plant life. Water pollution and water-related diseases are not uncommon in developing countries because of poor institutional and structural arrangements for the treatment of municipal, industrial and agricultural waste. In developing countries inadequate access to water contributes to people’s poverty, affecting their basic needs, health, food security and basic livelihoods. Bettering the access of poor people to clean water would potentially contribute towards poverty eradication, good health, and uplift of livelihood of local people.There is an intense need to conserve water resource for ourselves and millions of other ecological entities on the face of the earth. There is a saying that what we do on earth is mirrored in the water. It is the task of governments, environmentalists, conservationists, planners, institutions and, in fact, every individual to prudently mange and conserve water resources. Mohammad Niaz


  1. Future Provision of water is also depends on the safety of our water resources. Which are in danger due to pollution caused by industries and other sources. I think you should consider recycling of Industrial water. There many Industrial water treatment consultant including are providing great services.

  2. Wonderful article, thanks for putting this together! This is obviously one great post.Thanks for sharing.

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  3. Articles and content in this section of the website are really amazing. Great ideas indeed! I will surely keep this in my mind!

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