Today is (was, in India) the World Water Day, an initiative that grew out of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro. The world has changed significantly since 1992. Cities are bigger and more polluted. Rivers are not rivers anymore. Drinking water has become a luxury in developing countries. Harmful affluents are polluting our seas everyday. Yet, the spirit of fighting against everything that is wrong and that needs to change, continues to grow stronger and bring hope to people.

In 1992, the daily newspaper and word of mouth were probably the only main sources of information. Today, with information technology and Google Maps in place, you can just go to this link and find out about all Water events happening around the world today. I was on tweeting a lot today and believe me, the last time I had seen these many conversations around a topic was back in December during the COP15 summit in Copenhagen.

Here are some interesting facts I found on Twitter today –

  • Every day, 2 mn tons of sewage and other effluents drain into our world’ waters, including some of ours.
  • Groundwater accounts for about 80% of domestic water requirement and more than 45% of the total irrigation in India.
  • One needs abt 30-50 liters/day but dripping joint wastes about 76 litres of water/day

Water has always been synonymous with life itself and the current water crisis around the world has reinstated its importance in our lives. Yes, we need better purification technologies, better distribution systems and low cost supply for the unprivileged sections. But most importantly, for those of us who have the luxury to use as much as water as we want to, we need to responsible in how we do that.

Here are some quick tips for conserving water –

  1. Be a responsible individual (don’t waste water while brushing, shaving but letting the water run while you lather, check for leaking taps etc) – Remember there are a number of ways to save water and they all start with YOU
  2. Plant and maintain trees. An increased tree cover would translate into a lot of benefits like reducing run off, increasing percolation and recharging the groundwater reserves.
  3. Install rainwater harvesting systems in your home, school, college, workplace etc.
  4. Treat waste water properly so that it doesn’t end up polluting the rivers. (Almost 60% of the pollution of River Yamuna in New Delhi is from domestic sources and almost 90% of the pollution in river Ganga in the city of Varanasi is from domestic sources)
  5. Share this with others and spread awareness

To know more about what happened in India on the World Water Day, do check out the India Water Portal.

Once again. Save Water. Save the world.