In the olden days, water was available in plenty with rivers and other water bodies filled up to the brim. Hence, the water in wells could be found not that deep. This scenario is slowly changing. It has now worsened to such a level that water cannot be found even after digging a few hundred feet down. This change in availability to scarcity is going to create rift between the water-surplus and water-scarce areas in the world. The difference in water availability might even fuel unscrupulous exploitation of this precious liquid for commercial purpose. This is what happening in cities where the water table is fast depleting and its replenishment is happening less often. This might even create fights between water-surplus and water-scarce areas in the near future. Hence, let us find out the reasons and do the amendments to prevent the problems from going out of hands.
Factors Attributing to Water Scarcity
There are various factors that attribute to the water scarcity in a given locality. Some of them are man-made while some others naturally exist. We cannot do anything on the natural ones. But we can take some precautions to that effect so that things are better managed. We have been celebrating World Water Day instituted by the UN body. Yet, we have not properly understood the meaning of that day. In this article, we look at some of the factors that add to the water scarcity.
1. Climate Change: The major cause that contributes to the water woes facing a number of cities in the world is the change in the weather pattern. As a result, its availability from rains has come down.
2. Deforestation: The plants and trees are necessary for the cooling of clouds and precipitation of water droplets. The humus created by the falling leaves around the trees and plants can keep the liquid at one place and prevent its loss. Despite this knowledge, we have been mercilessly downing the trees in the name of development. The forest and areas under agricultural cover are slowly giving rise to the high-rise buildings. So, water has no place to go.
3. No Natural Faults: Even if it rains, there is no provision for storing water as there are no underground faults in some regions to let it seep in. There should be natural faults under the ground to let this liquid percolate the rocks to reach the underground storage. Unfortunately, many cities in the world don’t have such naturally occurring faults to help this precious liquid reach the ground storage underneath the earth surface.
4. No Rainwater Harvesting: Some cities have made it a norm to give approval for the new buildings only when they include the provision for rainwater harvesting. Unfortunately, many cities across the world have never thought of this solution. This has led to the loss of precious water after rains to the canals that are rarely maintained.
5. Over-exploitation: The water-scarce cities have given rise to a new form of business called water tanker business. This business thrives heavily by over-exploiting the water resources from nearby villages. Over the period of a few months, the water table of the exploited area comes down drastically. However, the tanker mafia would go in search of new avenues and continue their businesses.
6. Uncontrolled and Unplanned Real Estate Growth: Due to uncontrolled growth in the construction businesses, the need for new wells has come into existence. If more wells are dug in the same locality, the water level in the existing wells goes down and they dry up quite easily during the summer. This in turn has spurred the growth of tanker businesses in many cities.
7. Contamination of Existing Water Sources: Due to the rapid industrialization, the water table underneath the ground is slowly getting polluted, creating a demand for more liquid from other sources. In turn, this has given rise to the need for more wells elsewhere to keep up with the growing water demand.
8. Other Forms of Exploitation: People tend to use precious water for cleaning their vehicles, watering plants and even washing the house. Doing these kind of activities take more water than what we think.