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Save Water And Save The Future Environmental Sciences Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Environmental Sciences
Wordcount: 2229 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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The above mentioned title would look old fashioned and well known but if you look in to this ­­issue you would understand how true i am and how serious the issue is?

Water is essential for maintaining healthy Environments and for social and economic development. As population increases and development seeks for increased proportions of surface water and ground water for the agriculture industrial sectors and domestic sectors the pressure on water resources intensifies, which leads in excessive pressure on the environment , conflicts among users and tensions. Due to increase in demand and dissipated use and due to continuous increase in the population brought about stress in fresh water resources.

Do you believe a fact “By 2025, 1 800 million people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity, and two-thirds of the world population could be under stress conditions”.

About 20% of the world’s population live in countries where there is a scarcity of water and they are unable to access natural water source. At present 2.6 billion lack access to proper sanitation and 1.1 billion people lack access to safe water. In both developed and developing countries climate change is affecting water resources which may cause different types of diseases.

A country with increasing threat to its water supply is known as ‘water stressed’. By 2025 about 1800 million people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity, and two-thirds of the world population could be under stress conditions.

Some of the facts to be taken note here and why we have a responsibility to act?

1.70%of the world’s surface is covered by water out of which 97.5% of ihis is salt water. Of the remaining 2.5% that is fresh water 68.7% isfrozen in ice caps and glaciers while only 1% of the total resources on earth are available for human use.

2. On an average a Canadian uses 326 liters a day while a person in Saharan Africa uses about 10-20 liters a day.

3.Out of the discharges that are deign dumped in to the water 90% is from sewage and 70% is from industries polluting the usable water supply .

4. . in developed countries 30% of fresh water supplies are lost due to leakage and the loss may run to a high of 40% to 70% in some cities.

5. Canada controls about 20%of the earth’s fresh water.

Distribution of Earths Water

soursource : http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/waterdistribution.html

Coming in to the real time scenario I would take one of the major cities like Mumbai that would justify my statement here you can see how water plays an important role day today’s human life.

Mumbai’s Water Supply

If Mumbai British Administrators has not seriously about the agitation over drinking water problem in 1845 perhaps, would have been as stressed for water as Chennai’s people are now Like Chennai, Mumbai would also depended on wells and ponds/lakes for its water supply. Due to increase in population ingress of seawater and depletion of ground water sources has been caused in Chennai.

Mumbai’s major water bodies with in the catchment

Water resources in Vaitarna River basin and Ulhas River basins have been identified as there will be an increase in population in the coming years. take the. The plan for Middle Vaitarna is at an advanced stage and a dam will be constructed at a cost of Rs1, 250crore to avail 455mld water. Middle Vaitarna, Gargai and Pinjal are gravity sources, whereas the Ulhas river basin sources will need pumping water adding to the cost; 5,108hectares will be submerged, while people of 19 villages will be affected.

Before Independence, Tansa was the major source which runs along Bombay-Agra road. After independence, water supply to Malabar Hill Reservoir and Bhandarwada Reservoir increased as a tunnel was built between vaitarana and tansa, while the remaining areas are served from the major water bodies.

Domestic Water Consumption

Shows the average requirement of water in terms of litres per consumer per day – lpcd





Drinking,cooking&dish washing








Toilet flushing




Washing clothes




Cleaning &Gardening



Car washing






Source : http://www.bcpt.org.in/webadmin/publications/pubimages/watersupply.pdf

Obstacles in the systems

There was a problem with the water supply though it was laid successfully due to mismanagement and unaccounted amount of water supply. Moreover, metering errors, low tax rates, billing mistakes and low recovery rate burden the system.

Also, incentives should be offered through rebates on advanced payments, conservation practices such as rainwater harvesting and water recycling.

Mumbai: Water Tariff Structure


Water charges

(Rs/1000 Litres)

Domestic – Stand Post

– Building&Chawls



Halls, Hospitals, Playgrounds, Swimming Pools etc


Industries, Dhobi Ghats, Government Premises, etc.


Refineries, Airports, Public Sector Undertakings, etc.


Race course and Hotels


Sewerage charges are at 60% of water charges

source : http://www.bcpt.org.in/webadmin/publications/pubimages/watersupply.pdf

There was an increase in population by about 11 millions from 1948 till now, which increased the water supply by five times during these five decades .By 2021there will be a further increase in population by 25 % and potential to supplement water supply is more than double which can be achieved by developing sources in Vaitarna and Ulhas river basins. But these are costly propositions both in human and environmental terms and financially. For Mumbai’s luxurious need of water, is it fair to displace people from eight villages in Vaitarna and 19 villages in Ulhas river basins and submerge some 9,000hectares of fertile land as well as cause environmental degradation? Instead, can we look at alternatives

Water is highly vulnerable to air, ground and land water pollution , not only in the form of diffuse source pollution, but also point source ,waste disposal to air or soil in a variety of forms, such as effluent irrigation, dumping, mining wastes or gaseous emissions.

Major pressures on water use

Growing population, urbanisation, deforestation, global warming, climatic changes, pollution, rapid industrialisation, droughts and floods are some reasons of the increased pressure on the existing water bodies.

Then, there are other factors like poor management of water supply, unending exploitation of resources, massive wastage etc.

Population expansion is the single biggest reason behind the increased pressure on fresh water resources

Industrial and agriculture-related pollution is another prime contributor. Millions of tons of waste are being disposed everyday into the lakes, rivers and streams polluting whatever little water we have, making them unfit for human consumption. The growing urbanisation has also increased the pressure on our towns and cities, in which around 48 per cent of the world’s population lives, amounting to almost half of the world’s total water consumption.

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The bhatsa lake which is located in Thane district, is one of the major source of drinking water to Mumbai. In an incident about 700 kg of dead fish were found floating in the lake . Initially the authorities blamed it on local residents for poisoning the lake water to catch fish. But later tests by Mumbai-based Central Institute of Fisheries Education showed high levels of oil and grease effluents in the water. Local residents say the waste oil has been released by Shahpur-based Liberty Oil Mills Ltd.

Source : http://www.rainwaterharvesting.org/Crisis/Industrial-pollution.htm

Report on Mithi River Water Pollution by “Klean Environmental Consultants Pvt Ltd.

Major Pressures on water quality

Water quality will also worsen with increasing water temperatures and pollution levels. The report positions 122 countries based on their ability to improve the situation and quality of their water . “Because of the low quantity and quality of its groundwater which is further combined with heavy industrial pollution and poor treatment of wastewater Belgium is considered as worst . It is followed by 1.Morocco,2. India, 3. Jordan ,4. Sudan , 5. Niger, 6. Burkina Faso, 7.Burundi , 8. Central African Republic and 9. Rwanda. The list of countries with the best water quality is lead by Finland followed by 2.Canada, 3. New Zealand , 4. United Kingdom , 5.Japan , 6.Norway, 7. Russian Federation , 8. Republic of Korea , 9.Sweden and 10.France”.

Problem faced by the poor in gaining access to water is one of the major concerns in water resource management related to increasing population . By pollution of existing water bodies by industries, poor drainage and runoff from the indiscriminate use of fertilizer and pesticides are further aggravating the problem .water has been found to be the second most important income generator after land. These environmental changes have put the rural poor in disadvantaged positions

Major health-related environmental concerns also include , A high population density in rural areas leads to degradation and violation of natural habitats, the rate of population increase in urban areas outstrips attempts to improve provisions for water supply and sanitation.

After all discussions one can make note there must be proper realistic efforts and remedies to be taken by everyone to prevent this problem

Rain Water Harvesting & Ground Water Use

Earlier, rainwater was the main source of water supply and it was collected in tanks. People used to measure the height of collected rainwater in the tank and accordingly decide how much to draw from it to make it last over the year now, with piped water supply, this traditional way of conservation of water has been forgotten.

Mumbai was blessed with number of tanks like Mumba Devi, Manamala, Babula, Govalia, Gilder, Banganga, etc.

Old methods of rainwater harvesting are restored ­­­­, perhaps, there will be no need for future water supply schemes on Vaitarna and Ulhas river basins. There are many other benefits from rainwater harvesting. The groundwater table will rise, water quality will improve, salinity in water will reduce, cracks in the buildings will be minimised, etc.

Rainwater harvesting by capturing runoff from the rooftops / terraces and surrounding surface water will not only increase ground water recharge and stop ingress of sea water but will get Mumbai out of its monsoon floods problem. Water harvesting in Mumbai will reduce storm water discharge as well as reduce the load of sewerage treatment, thus controlling the dreadful monsoon floods. Rainwater can be stored in tanks or can be recharged into the groundwater.


Mumbai can make use of abundant availability of seawater, desalinate for potable water and thus, augment water supply instead of going in for complex method of constructing dams & reservoirs and supporting that system

Water Recycling

About 80% of distributed water is discharged as wastewater. If a part of wastewater is treated and re-used, it can cover the projected demand deficiency

An example of water recycling can be seen at Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus of the Central Railway which set up a water recycling plant of 0.2million capacity in 1999 at a cost of Rs24lakh

The used water is collected and treated for cleaning concrete aprons of the railway platforms thus saving potable water.

Water Conservation

About 71% of the earth’s surface is covered with water but 97% of this is seawater, 2% is locked in polar ice caps and glaciers and hardly 1% of water is available as freshwater. Hence, we need to conserve every drop of water. We have got to develop the habit of

using less water and stopping wasteful and luxurious use of water

Ideally, therefore, the housing complexes should have proper rain water harvesting system and draw groundwater for non-drinking purposes. Even if water from bore-wells is used for toilet flushing (50lpcd) and cleaning (10lpcd), the load on the piped water supply will come down to 50%. This means that the same piped water supply will be sufficient for double the population. Recycling of the water used for washing is possible by re-using it for watering the garden, further bringing down the load on the overworked system. Desalination of sea water will obliterate the need to set up newer projects that require transporting water from 100km at a high capital cost; it will also make that resource available to other needy water scarce areas.


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