“Thirsty In the Sea” A World War for Water
In the year 1999 and seven months [July] The great King of Terror will come from the sky He will resurrect Ghengis Khan Before and after war rules happily
Nostradamians have interpreted this quatrain as his prophecy for the third World War. While the world is still in dilemma over the above interpretation that it actually meant a World War, but situation these days is sure heading us to the doomsday.Figuratively speaking, there is no shortage of water in the world. But this abundancedoes not correspond to the Usable form of water. And although the amount of watersources is limited the consuming population is growing at an alarming rate. Thepopulation of the world 2000 years ago was a mere 3% of what it is today. One doesnot need a management guru to analyse the whole scenario. It’s simple; there islimited amount of ‘Supply’ and a manifold increase in the ‘Demand’. Water covers 73% of the planet but more than 97.5% of the surface water is ocean.This is not useable water due to it being salinated. Desalination of this water is fartoo expensive process for widespread adoption. The fresh water which the world usesrepresents a mere 2.5% of available water. But all of it is also not available. Anamount of 3/4
of this fresh water is trapped in the form of snowand ice. So we areleft with a minimal 0.65 of surface water for use. This is the limited amount of ‘supply’ we are having.Now let’s have a look at the ‘demand’. We are more than a six billion inhabitants inthis planet. In which about 12 million people, i.e., 20% of the global populationspread across 40 countries do not have access to safe water. Over the next 20 years,the world's population will increase from the present 6.4 billion to an estimated 7.2 billion whereas the average supply of water per person is expected to fall by 1/3th.Even the available water sources are not that fairly distributed. Women in Asia and Africa walk an average distance of 6km a day to collect water.India too is not helping the cause with its growing population and unmanaged waterresources. In having 1/6
of the population of the world we are merely increasing thedemand. Most of the water sources in India are contaminated by sewage andagricultural waste water. Although India has seen progress in the supply of safe waterto its people but this water is largely contaminated. According to a report by the World Bank 21% of communicable diseases in India are related to unsafe water.It makes quite a debatable issue that a country where a major of its populationdepends on agriculture has so little concern to tap the water resources. Governmenthas made water a mere ‘election issue’ than actually dealing with the matter.Indiahas many rivers, especially the Himalayan Rivers which are perennial in nature. Butthe major problem is the inadequate or excessive distribution of water and also thequality of water available. Although the government has launched a National Riverintegration Scheme but its implementation is not that proper. So the problem herelies merely in managing rather in the availability of the resources.