Water is driving force in nature it covers 71% of the Earth's surface, and is vital for all known forms of life. Only 2.5% of the Earth's water is fresh water, and 98.8% of that water is in glaciers, groundwater and salty water. We can't drink it, wash with it, or use it to water plants. Less than 0.3% of all freshwater is in rivers, lakes, and the atmosphere. As our population grows, people are using up this limited resource. Therefore, it is important that we use our water wisely instead of wasting it.
World Water Day is celebrated on 22nd March to attention on the importance of fresh water and supporting for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.
As we all are aware of the fact that it is a finite natural resource. The fulfillment of basic human needs, our environment, socio-economic development and poverty reduction are all heavily dependent on water. Better management of water is particularly challenging due to some of its unique characteristics:
- Uneven distribution in time and space,
- Complexity of the hydrological cycle
- Rapid urbanization
- Unwise use of water
- Change in climate
These all are threatening to the water resources while demands for water are increasing in order to satisfy the needs of a growing world population. Now at over seven billion people need it for food production, energy, industrial and domestic uses. World Water Day aims to increase people's awareness on water's importance in life. World Water Day's main symbol is the shape of a water drop in the UN's color blue. Photographs of water or in rivers, reservoirs, lakes or seas are widely displayed on this occasion world wide
Since ancient times, irrigation and drainage has been the two types of water control having a major impact on water flows and landscapes. Today, principal demands for fresh water are for irrigation, household and municipal water use and industrial uses. Most supplies come from surface runoff although mining of "fossil water" from underground is an important source in some areas. Consumption of water use refers to water that is not returned to streams after use. For the most part, this is water that enters the atmospheric pool of water via evaporation and from plant transpiration. Irrigated agriculture is also responsible for most consumptive water use, and decreases surface run-off.
Most of water use is non-consumptive, water is returned to surface runoff. This contaminated water however, is used for agriculture, domestic purposes, or industry. The WHO estimated that more than 5 million people die each year from diseases caused by unsafe drinking water, lack of sanitation and hygienic issues. So water re-usage is also a big issue
Increasing demands of water lead to decreasing its supply
Some of our biologists believe that fresh water will be a critical limiting resource for many regions in the near future. Already about one-third of the world's population lives in water stress countries. In Asia, where water has always been regarded as an abundant resource, per capita availability is also declined by 40-60%. Projection suggests that most Asian countries will have severe water problems by the year 2025. So they must have some strategies and projects to save water at its earlier.
Pakistan’s vision of water management
As Pakistan is an agricultural country we are thoroughly dependant on fresh water and its ample supply. We have world largest canal system, but due to mismanagement some of our canals and drains are totally dry and leaving nearby lands barrens, so Government of Pakistan has made a vision for 2020 that Pakistan should have adequate water available supply through conservation, development and good governance. These supplies should be of good quality, equitably distributed and meet the needs of all users through an efficient and integrated management, their objectives are:
- Prevention the water shortages in the future
- Compensation for the predicted climatic changes
- To protect the agriculture sector from droughts
- To increase reservoir capacities lost due to siltation and develop new storages to cater for future needs.
Development of 16,000 mw of hydropower for providing cheap electricity to consumers to invest us $ 33 billion in next 22 years. But these all ongoing resources needs proper monitoring and check to execute on time.
Some Simple Solution:
There are some simple solution that should be followed by government and public too.
- Improvements in the efficiency and allocation of water use
- Efficient management and modern technology
- Financial sustainability
- Private sector investment (Managements)
- Combined use of surface and ground water
- Wise use of water at homes and institutes
- Proper sanitation management.
Water is a shared resource and its management needs to take into account a wide variety of conflicting interests. Events are organized on or around this world water day to increase people's awareness of water's importance in environment, agriculture, health and trade. Thus as torch bearer of this slogan, Pakistan Science club, National Academy of Young Scientists (NAYS), The Emerging Nations Science Foundation (ENSF) and Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF) have joined hands together for the awareness on water scarcity and water resources management by organizing some events, writing articles and making posters to share knowledge among the people for saving our natural resources. Now it’s your responsibility to spread the knowledge so that we could save this blessing before it get late.
Article: Zaryab Khalid Sial
Poster: M. Adeel Ansai
Source: National Academy of Young Scientists (NAYS) Pakistan