World Water Day and the reality

NIRJESH GAUTAM 22/03/2018 15:57:16


Lucknow, Mar 22: International Water Day is observed on March 22nd annually. It was incorporated in the UN framework in 1993 with an aim to generate awareness towards the importance of potable water. The day strengthens the sustainable development goals through various thematic events: educational, theatrical, musical, awareness and fundraising campaigns. Every year there is a theme, decided by UN-Water. The theme for this year is “Nature for Water,” which explores the use of nature-based solutions towards the protection of the ecosystem. It underlines water-related issues: water scarcity, water supply, water pollution, water sanitation; and to provide better accessibility to WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene).

It was introduced in India on March 22nd, 2010 and was observed for the first time in the Field H.Q, Dibrugarh, Assam. A lot of programs are organized with the help of government and non-government partners for the observance of World Water Day throughout India. However such, day length events are just limited to the promotional and traffic seeking purposes. They are nothing more than a political and geopolitical Jumla.

Despite much pressure from the international organizations, we are still in the policy-making process, organizing campaigns and managing germane events. Much is done for the conservation of riverine but the efforts seem invisible. More and more dams and canals are constructed without understanding or considering the ecosystem of the river (Environmental Impact Assessment is not done on a serious note). A construction over a riverbed tends to increase the eutrophication and as a consequence give rise to irregular biological oxygen demand in water, hence posing a threat to the fauna and the flow of the river. Fish farming is also another human activity that influences the ecology of the river, but a huge sum of 10,000 crores is allocated to the aquaculture and fisheries in the recent union budget. Deep sea fishing is also given a fillip in the pursuit of Marine Revolution, despite all the experience we have received from the Indo-Norwegian Project. But this drive of over-production and maintenance of a good export index is working against the classical economics which considers the resources to be scarce.

Our evolution started with the development of single-celled organisms in water. It multiplied in accordance with the environment and with the help of nature, it developed into a further complex of cells. Like the way, a simple sheep or cow evolved into a Giraffe. In a similar way, the real ancestors of human beings or be it any species was a single-celled organism that tried really hard to survive. But such a concern for our ancestors and the environment where they lived is not considered in devising a development strategy.

How can someone justify the conservation of water by letting the factories use rivers to dump their effluents in it? How can someone justify the conservation of water when around 60% of the country’s irrigation, 85% of rural drinking water and 50% of urban water needs are met by using groundwater and with a mere 6% of rainwater harvesting. How can someone justify conservation of water with the ill fate of our sewage system? How can someone justify conservation of water by merely an act of buying a coke or diet?





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