In present times, global warming, climate change, deforestation, pollution and natural resource depletion have been made out to be very high sounding terms. The sad part is that they are relegated to coffee table discussions, newspaper articles, and primetime debates. It is high time that we realize that these are real issues that affect us in quite a few ways. It is time that we think beyond slogans and move beyond conference rooms. We need to acknowledge that our world is facing a crisis at this time and it is upon us to get our act together.
The truth is that we are so accustomed to a comfortable, stable life that thinking about these issues seems too strenuous an exercise. For many of us, these are not even real issues. We do not realize the implications of environmental degradation that we contribute to every single day. We wait for a Mumbai deluge or an Uttarakhand flood to open our eyes. Here?s why we should not take our environment for granted and be concerned about issues like depletion of water levels.
Dearth of water for us
Receding water levels are a sign of depleting resources as a result of overuse and exploitation of nature. And the immediate and most evident effect is lessening availability of water for people. When the water level recedes, the effort and cost of procuring it for use increases. A lot of people and countries can?t afford that water. Even those who can, have to do with very little quantity. We surely do not want to live a life where we don?t have enough water to sustain ourselves.
Deterioration of water quality
We all know clean, safe and potable water is a necessity. However, it might soon become a fantasy if we don?t get our act together. This is not an exaggeration. According to recent reports, a huge chunk of the world?s population does not have access to safe water. Receding water levels is a major cause of unavailability of safe water. Needless to say, this leads to a host of water-borne diseases and health problems. Therefore, negating and neglecting the issue will lead to an unhealthy future.
Impact on food production
It is not an unknown fact that agriculture and the entire process of food production require a large amount of water. And depleting water levels affect food production drastically. Farmers are not able to irrigate their land and crops suffer. Moreover, there is a decrease in harvest and therefore the stocks in markets are insufficient to meet the needs of consumers. This not only leads to rise in prices but also means hunger and starvation for many families who cannot afford basic nutrition due to decline in supplies. As a result, the income gap between different sections of the society widens.
The environmental crisis
The global crises that we talk about grow from these seemingly small issues. The world is interconnected and so are its problems. Global warming is not created in a day. Environmental degradation is not the result of a solitary action. All of us have contributed to it. And we continue to do so. The problem too is ours then. We all are in it together. Therefore, there is an urgent need to stop pretending that we have nothing to do with this and begin by doing our bit. Every little wastage of water adds up to the huge crisis we are facing. Every drop counts. Literally and metaphorically.
For a life worth living
All of us want to live a life of happiness. We work for it every single day. We dream about it every night. It?s ironic how we put it all our efforts to live happily, and yet ignore what makes us live! We ignore the air we breathe in, the water that quenches our thirst, the food that satiates our hunger, the environment that gives us our existence. Before the water inside our earth goes too far away from us, we better call it back. Because, no matter how detached we claim to be, LIFE is the biggest attachment we have. Thus, the most precious thing we have must be conserved. We must cease to be enemies of our own existence. Moreover, we should not forget the bedrock of co-existence and harmony on which the world is based. Living peacefully with other creatures, and taking care of natural endowments are duties every human being must fulfill.
– Contributed by Anushna, a Student of Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Political Science.
Picture: Low water level of Jayakwadi reservoir near Aurangabad nytimes.com