It’s Just Another Wash Out

Water%20Issues.jpgWater covers about two-thirds of the Earth’s surface, admittedly. But most is too salty for use. Population is rising, but water supplies are not. Only 2.5% of the world’s water is not salty, and two-thirds of that is locked up in the icecaps and glaciers. Of what is left, about 20% is in remote areas, and much of the rest arrives at the wrong time and place, as monsoons and floods.

Humans have available less than 0.08% of all the Earth’s water. Yet over the next two decades our use is estimated to increase by about 40%. Today, one person in five across the world has no access to safe drinking water, and one in two lacks safe sanitation.

World over, depleting water resources and increasing temperatures have prompted heated debates, pro-active policy approaches demands for rational use of available resources and their conservation. Pakistan is no exception either to the global warming and receding water levels — both over and underground.

But if you wade through pools of water flowing from driveways of palatial houses even in Islamabad’s posh E and F sectors, mostly home to foreign diplomats, top notch of Pakistani bureaucracy and an overbearing NGO community, you hardly get a sense of urgency.

The way residents themselves and their servants indiscriminately use water for washing cars, the ramps and the driveways for hours one wonders whether concepts like rational use and conservation of sweet water at all exists even in the capital and under the nose of several ministries and departments? Ministry for Environment, Environment Protection Agency, Global Change Impact Studies Centre (GCISC), IUCN, Pakistan Met Office etc are some of those dealing with natural resources. But despite their presence, even educated, and presumably informed on the environment issues, show little regard for the urgency of the matter i.e. global warming and the need to protection and conservation of natural resources.

Next time you go out there washing your car porch for hours and hours apathetically with gallons of fresh water (while trying to make those intresting shapes with the sprinkler), do think for a moment that you are using from the less than 2% available supply of fresh water in the globe. Rest 98% is not consumable by human beings.

1 Comment so far

  1. Purple_Haze (unregistered) on February 28th, 2007 @ 9:31 am

    You bring up a very important issue. The awareness must be increased. A lot of small steps can be taken on community or even individual level to save water. Amazingly world is fighting over the last reserves of oil & according to one theory next battles can be on the water reserves.

    World bank has suggested to treat water as commodity (instead on a natural resource) so it can be regulated & distributed more efficiently but counter view point sees that as unethical. Mushy’s dam projects are extremely strategic. However! our neighbors apparently have a headstart on it. I hope we become serious about it. After all you can live without oil but how long can you live without water? think and act… start saving water

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