The World Water Day that falls this Saturday is better known and more widely celebrated. It began as a UN initiative in 1992, but has caught the public imagination in the last few years with the growing need that urban citizens and farmers in our rural eco-systems are beginning to see as a threat that will be even more serious than the energy crisis in India. With 75 per cent of our city fresh water needs now being met from deeper ground aquifers that are running today alarmingly low, the World Water Day only means that each of us have to doubly resolve to grow our own water in apartments, in villa-enclaves, in city wards and in residential extensions as well as office blocks.
There has to be localized community initiatives within wards and sub-regions of a city to treat water for use, harvest and husband rainwater to supplant municipal water supply, and bring efficiencies in showers, taps, faucets and other fixtures in our homes, hotels, hospitals and offices.
Platitudes and public speeches will not help. Asking people to focus attention on water issues will be lost on citizens who are asking how to do it, and not why they should do it. Awareness, I believe, is not the challenge; it is the ability and know-how that is not spreading fast enough.
The World Water Day offers pause for such reflection. Like charity begins at home, can you mark this World Water Day with these simple initiatives that don’t cost money as much as your resolve and willingness to do it.