Prof (Dr) Sohan Raj Tater
ACCORDING to World Bank, as many as two billion people lack adequate sanitation facilities to protect them from water borne diseases, while a billion lack access to clean water altogether. According to United Sates, which has declared 2005-15 the “Water for life” decade, 95 per cent of the world cities still dump water sewage into their water supplies. Thus it should come as no surprise to know that 80 per cent of all the health maladies in developing countries can be traced back to unsanitary water.
Developed countries are not immune to fresh water problem either. Researchers have found a six-fold increase in water use for only a two-fold increase in population size in the United States since 1900. Such a trend reflects the connection between higher living standards and increased water usage and underscores the need for more sustainable management and use of water supplies even in more developed societies.
New technology can help, however, especially by cleaning up pollution and so making more water useable, and in agriculture, where water use can be made for more efficient, drought-resistant plants can also help. Drip irrigation drastically cuts the amount of water needed, low pressure sprinklers are an improvement, and even building simple earth wall to trap rainfall is helpful. Some countries are now treating waste water so that it can be used and drunk several times over. Desalination makes sea water but takes huge quantities of energy and leaves vast amount of brine.
(To be concluded)