Imagine this scenario…you’ve just come from school or work; your water flask is empty, your mouth feels parched and you feel like you won’t be able to take another step.
What do you do?
You might open the fridge and drink cold water straight from the bottle without giving it a thought.
Water is, quite literally, the building block of our life. We may not be marine animals but we are water creatures for it makes up 60% of our body, 70% of our brain and 80% of our blood. I bet you didn’t know those stats. Well, now you do. And there’s more…while you can survive for about a month without food, your body cannot survive even a week without water.
That’s why water is THE most important component for our existence.
And yet, we live at a time when this planet is facing the worst environmental crisis it has ever seen. Words such as de-forestation, pollution, water shortage and global warming are part of every other drawing room discussion and social media post. So, let’s take a quick look at what’s really happening in the world when it comes to water.
What is interesting to know is that the same water that existed billions of years ago on earth still exists today. However, although most of our planet is covered with water, only 3% of it is ‘fresh water’. And out of this mere 3%, most of it is ice!
Now, you do the math.
And if you still can’t grasp the gravity of the situation, let me do it for you. 97% of earth water is unusable by humans; only 3% is deemed fit for human use. Out of that 3%, less than 1% of water is readily accessible for human consumption. Less than 0.007% of ALL the water on earth is available for drinking……
So, while the likes of you and me are lucky enough to grab a water bottle out of the fridge whenever we want, millions of people survive on less than three gallons a day.
One in three people lack adequate sanitation.
One in five don’t have access to clean drinking water.
According to UN reports a child dies every 15 seconds due to water-related disease.
But why do you need to worry about this when you get water regularly through the designated water supply or via a water tanker? Why should you fret when you have drinking water cans delivered to your doorstep?
Well, you do need to worry because all this line water, tanker water and drinking water will vanish when there will be no water left on earth!
Please watch the video below to gain some insight about Karachi’s current water crisis:
Karachi has two major supplies of water – Kanjeer Lake and Hub dam – both of which have reached the lowest level. Why did this happen?
Well, some main reasons are given below:
- Water/water tanker mafia (Choroon ke Chor)
- Poor maintenance of water pumping stations.
- Extremely worn out water pipelines.
- Unnecessary wastage of water.
- No or less rain due to de-forestation.
We can sit around blaming the government and municipalities but the harsh reality is that each one of us will eventually be subject to the aftermath of this negligence. We need to do something about the water crisis NOW because EVERY DROP COUNTS!
While we may not be able to do something about the water mafia, the poor management of pumping stations and pipelines or de-forestation (although each one of us can plant trees), we can all conserve water and limit our consumption. While we all worry about our digital footprints on a daily basis, let’s not forget our water footprints too. Here are some things you and I can do to conserve water every day:
1.When using the flush
A quarter of the clean water that enters our homes is used to flush the toilet. One toilet uses 3 gallons. No, I am not saying don’t flush; please, please do. But why can’t used water from the basin or shower be re-used in the flush? It’s really only a matter of plumbing.
Also, do you know how much water is wasted if a tap or flush leaks? Please keep an eye on leaky taps and get them repaired as soon as possible!
2. When taking a shower
A 10-minute shower uses 50 gallons of water which can be easily reduced by using a bucket instead.
Even our faith teaches us to save water,
Narrated from Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-A’as (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (pbuh) passed by Sa’ad when he was doing wudoo, and he said, “What is this extravagance, O Sa’ad?”
Sa’ad said: “Can there be any extravagance in wudoo?”
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, “Yes, even if you are on the bank of a flowing river.”
3. When brushing teeth
If you brush your teeth with the tap on, you waste 4 gallons of water versus only 0.25 gallons while brushing with the tap off.
How difficult is it to do this?
4. When doing the dishes
How difficult is it to use less plates? I see kids taking out a new glass to drink water every time they are thirsty. Here’s a tip for you – designate a bottle or glass for each family member, refill all day and wash it at the end of the day.
5. When buying denim
Did you know that 10,850 litres of water are used to produce ONE pair of denim jeans?
Think before you buy one you ‘realllly want’!
6. When buying a smart phone
Another ‘not-so-fun’ fact. 240 gallons (or 910 litres) of water are used to produce ONE smart phone.
So, if the old one is working fine, please use it for as long as you can. The rest of us would rather have clean water, thank you very much.
7. When buying sodas and energy drinks
Clean water is used in the manufacturing of sodas and energy drinks.
And what do you get in return? Zero nutritional value, wasted water and non-biodegradable trash from the used plastic bottles and cans.
8. When using paper
One litre of water is used to produce ONE A4 size sheet. So, try to do your assignments digitally or re-use the back side of printed paper, at least, for making notes and doing rough work.
9. When doing household chores
When washing fruits and vegetables, place a bucket underneath so that this water can be used to water plants. Use laundry water to wash your car, bathroom, or for mopping floors. Store water from air conditioners to water plants and for household cleaning.
Like I said earlier, every drop counts.
10. When you are standing under the glaring sun
Instead of blaming the nearby shopping centre, school or office for not providing shade from the scorching heat of the sun, plant a tree, organise a tree plantation drive, set up a committee to regularly look after the trees you plant.
There is so much each one of us can do to save our city, our country, our planet from being literally consumed by pollution, water scarcity and global warming.
I would also like to appeal to educational institutions to make this a part of their curriculum. Equipping our children with sound academic knowledge will be of no use if they don’t have a world to live in. Please teach children the importance of conserving water from an early age. Have them plan and participate in tree plantation drives. Have them clean up after themselves. Minimise their use of plastics and packaging.
Together we can save water so that each one of us has access to clean water.