We can all see the water crisis that is facing us but we stand no chance of saving ourselves from it unless we do not understand the causes behind it.
Imagine the globe without humans and without any human creation.
Now imagine we unfold this globe on a flat surface
This is the BLUE planet – this is our earth – this is the way it was made to be and the way it would have been thousands of years ago.
What comes before you are the oceans, lakes, snow clad mountains from where the rivers are flowing downstream turning twisting with their branching tributaries distributing water on the earth like blood vessels in the body.
Imagine seeing the thick vast forests full of life with birds and animals busy from dawn to dusk. Feel the breath of fresh cool air on your face, smell the divine fragrance of flowers and fruits. Hear the singing chirping birds and bubbling brooks, buzzing insects, croaking frogs, falling rain drops amidst other sounds of nature.
Just the imagination of this earth has a wholesome effect on our emotional state and helps us relax.
Now contrast this imagination with the reality of our existence on this planet. Since the dawn of mankind, man has been a tyrant on this earth – snatching more of everything he needs. For space he starts cutting trees and reduces the forest cover many times more than required by him.
The destruction of forest means destruction of homes and reduced food availability for birds and animals forcing many species to the brink of extinction. The destruction of forest means reducing the natural air purifiers that clean the air of harmful chemicals. Reducing tree cover also reduces the leaves that allow for the settlement of suspended air pollutants and adversely affects the physical purification of the air.
As people luxuriate their lives with modern inventions like automobiles, air conditioners, planes etc. the planet bears increased pollution in its environment. As societies, we remain unconcerned about the daily problems of burning eyes, heavy fog, poor visibility, breathing difficulties, asthma which our inventions are creating apart from the challenges of global warming & climate change which will finally lead to the widespread disruption of our planet’s ecology.
With urbanization, there is a continued demand for housing to accommodate the growing population. In any growing city, single-family homes are gradually being replaced with high rise buildings with multiple apartments. Such ‘Cluster Housing’ units seem to suit all agencies– from electric supply to postal department because they can reach more people with less effort & cost.
Nobody ever considers the outcomes that a concentration of a large population in small pocket of land has on the demand for water that burdens the local watersheds. This is the reason why, be it pre-monsoon or post-monsoon, the ground water table continues to fall every minute.
Interestingly, we never hear from the big companies which build these large scale housing complexes about addressing this issue of fulfillment of water demand in the future as they are only focused on short-term profits. Agencies and companies conveniently skirt around this subject as they would otherwise have to restrict the number of such units being built.
As societies, we are all collectively culpable of swindling our most precious life saving commodity – water. We are steering clouds, manipulating the rivers by controlling the flow and quantum of water in them, polluting every natural water body around us and boring the ground beneath us dry. We are even trading and transporting water to far off destinations.
Such gross and unabashed mismanagement of our water resources is the start of a crisis that, if not tackled in the next few years, is bound to doom us all.
… Continued in Part 2