Drinking Water Scarcity is other name of Modern Nemesis!

Devid Debbarma

Truth is stranger than fiction. Yes, we all know it. At the same time, we are also oblivious about it. In today's time, we hardly ponder on any issues unless that is subjective or related to 'me'.  Climate change and associated hazards is one of those issues that should be addressed collectively. 

Being past driven, I remember in our school geography book, it was written in bold that the amount of drinking water on this planet is very low and should be used accordingly without any wastage. Our ancestral 'boon of amnesia' (with serious matters) never made us aware of the fact. Interestingly, the water we drink today has likely been around in one form or another since dinosaurs roamed the earth. 

The United Nations has long been addressing the global crisis caused by insufficient water supply to satisfy basic human needs and growing demands on the world's water resources to meet human, commercial and agricultural needs. India, a country of 1.3 billion people, is potentially at the greatest risk of severe water shortages, according to the World Resources Institute (WRI)'s updated global water risk atlas. 

Almost two billion people in 17 countries, or a quarter of the world's population, are likely, over the next few years, to confront 'Zero Day' when taps run completely dry from excess water extraction, according to WRI's Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas — a tool to visualise and assess water stress and drought and flood risk covering 189 countries. 

The Atlas predicts that Northern India will be hit by "severe groundwater depletion" because of excessive extraction. From 1990 to 2014, the disproportionate extraction caused an eight-centimetre-per-year decline, heavily exploiting surface water in the process.  

Real-time stories from South Africa and few weeks past stories from Tamilnadu, India is an indicator to the state of northeast like Tripura as well. Here the people are engrossed in many issues but are not cognitive to the impending doom in the guise of drinking water scarcity. However, in many parts of the state, repeatedly stories pertaining to water crisis do pop up. 

In newspapers, often we see (read then forget) miles have been trudged to collect drinking water. Alternatively, in some places road blockade is done due to the unusual drinking water supply. Here, one thing interesting to notice that a decade ago there was hardly any tendency among the residents of Tripura to purchase packaged drinking water. Many packaged drinking factories have opened. What is the sign? I am leaving to speculate. 

It is an inescapable fact that in many part of the state ground water is still used for irrigation purpose when there are many riverine resources to meet the demand. Ground water is receding in an alarming rate. Users often found brushing teeth after remaining the water tap open. In some places, the scene is more peculiar, damaged water tap letting drinking water to flow without check. One must remember, it is easy to dig out water from grounded water pockets but the vice-versa is very difficult and a natural time consuming process.    

Cities as well as in villages rain water harvesting or 'over-flow' water irrigation system must be monitored with apt requirement. Many of us often say, "Kothay joler sonkot? amar barite te dubela jol ase." Where is the water crisis? I get regular supply of water. In addition, this tendency of wilful rejection of fact or less retrospection for the coming days is an unhealthy attitude. Someone might say, "Who says Antarctica is melting? I have not seen that." We should remember there are many things on this 'heaven and earth' that cannot be analyzed by my own logic. One should rely on collective knowledge and take apt action. 

According to the United Nations, water use has grown at more than twice the rate of population increase in the last century. By 2025. An estimated 1.8 billion people will live in areas plagued by water scarcity, with two thirds of the world's population living in water stretched regions as a result of use, growth and climate change. 

Lessons must me learnt now, or else money will be there, man will be there but aqua will be missing which is nothing but the essence of human existence. There is one theory, which says many ancient civilisations had to be ceased or shattered only for the lack of adequate water resources or inefficient water using. The challenge we now face as we head into the future is how to effectively conserve, manage and distribute the water we have. Once using rhetoric one said, 'the third world war will not be fought for oil but for water.'
Se meminisse debet, Tripura is not out of the world.  

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