Water Conservation and Sustainability: An Utmost Importance

Senthil Kumar Kurunthachalam
2014 Hydrology Current Research  
Water is one of the core essential and basic necessity; 1) for the life forms-living things on the biosphere, 2) for the natural processes, 3) for the communities, 4) for the society, 5) for the economy of the country and 6) for on-coming generations. Although total earth's water (>71%) is constant, it goes through continuous hydrological cycle such as transpiring by vegetation, evaporation, precipitation, runoff, infiltration and other natural processes. Consequently, the rainfall in any
more » ... infall in any locations may not be same and therefore water shortage is the final outcome. Despite earth's majority of the cover is filled by water (97% by oceans), only freshwater (about 3% in which 85% is available as a glacier) is suitable for living organisms including humans. In recent years water table is facing serious threat due to rapid population increase, industrial and urban development, over usage, climate change, global warming, shrinkage in glaciers in Arctic and Antarctic, natural calamities (shifting of precipitation and reduced snow pack) and negligence of people to use the water in proper way and slow replenishment of natural waters [1]. Besides, drastic economic expansion, energy demand and shrinkage of replenished waters are point of major concern. Water withdrawals across all sectors including public use (municipal), rural or domestic use, livestock use, irrigation, thermoelectric power generation increased dramatically between 1950 and 2005 in the USA [2] . When compare with few decades during the past, the draught condition in all over the world have been doubled. The rainfall has been changed during the current years and catchment of rainwater is decreasing in several countries. Very recently, with increasing demand of water requirement, preservation of water resources has been increased. It is anticipated that water level may go further down and their necessity may increase more in future. It is utmost necessity for the humans to take care of the water resources, usage pattern and sustainable management/conservation at great importance. Consequently, water conservation can be achieved 1) through logical policy, 2) from existing resources, 3) by mechanical auditing, 4) by rain water harvesting, 5) increase de-salination projects (to get additional sustainable water from ocean), 6) water re-use and 7) stringent regulations to adopt safe and conservative water adaptation policy by individuals in order to save the earth and improve the quality and quantity of the sustainable water. Majority of water bodies on the earth contain cocktails of toxic chemicals. In some countries along with toxic chemicals, bad sanitary quality makes water to carry biological pathogens and replenishment of these contaminated water take several years. Moreover, chemical and biological contamination tend to increase more in future if there is no strict water conservation/management policy is maintained in and around developing countries, industries, in house, commercial sector, municipalities, metropolitan cities and in agriculture [1] . Peoples living in big cities are exposed to cocktails of toxic contaminants due to elevated aquifer/ground water contamination, decrease in the water table, less waste water treatment facilities in developing countries in which industrial development is sky rocketing and therefore replenishment of available freshwater is decreasing. In addition, as it indicated earlier the loss of freshwater by 1) by precipitation (evaporation), 2) during incorporation in to the products (e.g., building materials), 3) in the vegetation transpiration 4) runoff, 5) evaporation cannot be ignored. Increasing water demands in order to support population and economic growth, environmental natural ecosystems (e.g., wetlands, rivers, lakes and groundwater systems), energy growth and supply shifts expected with climate change [3] . Wastage of potable water occurs in several ways especially from domestic kitchen (unnecessary running of tap in the sink), bathroom (continuous running of tap during tooth brush/shaving and long shower [also leaky faucet and toilet contributes 20-100 gallons/day]), several flushing of toilets with more than expected water to wash, laundry (less loaded laundry), home garden/lawn and car washing. In the U.S., the water consumption per home is almost 50-70 gallons/day/ person in which almost 15% of water wasted. In India, the approximate usage of water/home/day is 900 liters (approximately 240 gallons/ home/day if the home has 4 persons it would be a 60 gallons/person/ day) without any conservative method. However with conservative method 20 gallons/home/day is good enough therefore 92% of water can be saved. Further defective plumbing in municipal, domesticated, industrial areas to reduce leaking is necessary. For example, in Delhi, India estimated losses of drinking water is from 30% to 40%. More than 650 million people in almost 40 countries suffer from water scarcity. Among them particularly, 36 countries face extremely high water stress, including several countries in the Sub-Saharan region, Middle East, Indian deserts contributes to the looming crisis from African and Asian continents. Due to water shortage, the energy production and economic development in India and China has been affected seriously. Water scarcity is very severe in fast developing country like India, along with decreased energy production, the water quality with respect to chemical and biological contamination [1]. The water shortage in India, China, Nepal, Bangladesh, is very common as the tropical monsoon fail to pour a rain on the seasonal basis. In the USA water shortage is very common (e.g., western parts of arid desert zone) especially from the past 10 years [4] . Water supplies decreased due to the drying up of streams, decline in the ground water levels due to the excess pumping, chemical contamination and increased drought conditions. Among European Union, the water scarcity hits several countries among them Spain, France, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Germany, Czech and some others are affected while Croatia is least water stressed country. The aquifers in Belgium, France have been over exploited and contaminated by chemicals. Due to climate change and decrease in groundwater level related water stress makes Australian economy hit during the past 2-5 years. For the regional, humans welfare and the development, the reliable sources and supply of drinking water Hydrology Current Research Hyd ro lo g y : Current R e s e ar ch
doi:10.4172/2157-7587.1000e117 fatcat:do4tlcfgnngknhb2nxs3aygoay