Watered realities

Everyone and everything on the Planet comes with a story and connects to the stories of other elements to form the ecosystem. But some elements, through their stories, make everything else possible. Water is one of these.

In India, several cultures believe in the concept of ‘sacred waters’ – sanctified by age old stories of Gods and Goddesses. And this is not without reason. Whether it is rivers or wetlands, rainwater or lakes and streams, groundwater or melting glaciers, freshwater sources make the planet livable, thus playing an important part in the different steps of all our journeys. An act as small as brushing our teeth or as indirect as hitting the print button on our computers comes from water – one A4 sheet takes 10 litres of water to produce)!

But it’s not entirely a happy story. Despite covering about 70% of the Earth's surface, water, especially usable water, is not as plentiful as one might think. Only 2.5% of it is freshwater. Out of this, only 1% is available for human consumption!

In India, the rapid growth of population and its growing needs has meant that per capita availability of fresh water has declined sharply from 3,000 cubic metres to 1,123 cubic metres over the past 50 years. As water demand is expected to rise further, the future does not appear rosy.

According to projections by the UN, India’s urban population is expected to rise to 50% of the total population by 2050. This would mean that there would be 840 million people in the most water-starved parts of the country compared with 320 million today. At the same time, the lakes, ponds and wetlands of our cities are drying fast and the key water sources that they need are moving farther and farther from the cities themselves.

But all is not lost. We have the power to give up some water wasting practices to give back to freshwater resources and help them revive.

Pledge now to give up!