You are on page 1of 14



mi Kaushal VI-A

1                                                                                                                     Water in Our Life 

With two thirds of the earth's surface

s cov
vered by wa ater and th
he human body
consisting of 75 percent
p of itt, it is evide
ently clear that water is one of th
he prime ellements
respoonsible for life
l on earth. Water circulates through the land l just as
s it does through
the humman body, transportin ng, dissolvin ng, and repplenishing nutrients
n an
nd organic matter,
e carrying away
a wastee material. Further in the t body, it regulates the activities of
fluiids, tissuess, cells, lym mph, blood and
a glandular secretioons.

A average adult body

An y contains 42
4 litres of water and with just a small loss of 2.7
litres he
h or she ca an suffer frrom dehydrration, dispplaying sym mptoms of irrritability, fatigue,
nervousness, dizziness, weakness, headaches s and conse equently re
each a state e of
pathology. Dr F. Batmanghelidj, in his s book 'your body's many cries fo or water', gives
g a
wonde erful essay on water and its vital role in the e health of a water 'staarved' socie ety. He
writes: "Since the 'wa ater' we driink provides for cell fu
unction and
d its volume e
quirements s, the decreease in our daily waterr intake afffects the effficiency of cell
s a result ch
hronic dehy ydration cauuses sympttoms that e equal disease..."

Water has been used since
s antiqu
uity as a symbol by wh hich to express devotiion and
purity. Some culttures, like the
t ancient Greeks, we ent as far as
a to worshhip gods whho were
thoughht to live in and comm mand the wa aters. Wholle cities havve been billed by cons
the lo
ocation and availabilityy of pure drrinking watter. The pla
ace of gatheering was around
the wells,
w whichh is perhaps
s the follow
wing trend in building fountains inn the middle of

Traditional a
and modern medicine have been n makings use
u of the p psychologic cal and
physioological dive
erse properrties of watter, in all fo
orms of hyd drotherapy (composite e Greek
wordd: hydro, off water andd therapy, WeW all know w of the simmple, yet efffective, calming
qualities of
o a warm bath
b or the invigoratin ng qualities of a cold shower. Forr
centurries, numerrous healing g springs lo
ocated all around
a the world havee been reco ognised
forr their bene
efits. The fa
amous Belg gium spas in the Arden nnes are a fine examp ple.
Historical recordds of these cold spring gs claim 'cuures' since the
t fourteenth century y. The
hot Californian sppas, the heaaling spas of
o Loutraki in Greece, the Dalhou usie hot springs in
the border of So outh Austraalia and Norrthern Territory, Moree in NSW, Hepburn mineral m
spass in Victoria
a are just a few examples.

2                                                                                                                     Water in Our Life 


Contrary to the past, our recent developed technological society has
become indifferent to this miracle of life. Our natural heritage (rivers,
seas and oceans) has been exploited, mistreated and contaminated.

The population decline of the marine and riparian life, the

appearance of green algae in the rivers and the stench and slime that
comes as a result of putrefaction in the water, are clear signs of the depth
and extent of disruption that has been caused to this intricate ecosystem
(a composite Greek word: eco, home and system, a combination of things
or parts forming a complex or unitary whole). Government bodies and
water authorities will have us believe that it is 'safe' and we should not
worry about this global alarm. Awareness and action lies entirely upon us,
as we need to become our own educators, physicians and innovators.
Socrates had once said: "an unexamined life is not worth living....” Jesus
took it a step further: "seek, and you shall find......the truth shall set you
free..." So questioning everything and anything that anyone tells you until
it makes sense, is of uppermost importance. If it is the truth it will feel
right, set you free and lead you on the road of discovery and recovery.

Water is the common name applied to the liquid form (state) of the
hydrogen and oxygen compound H2O. Pure water is an odourless,
tasteless, clear liquid. Water is one of nature's most important gifts to
mankind. Essential to life, a person's survival depends on drinking water.
Water is one of the most essential elements to good health -- it is
necessary for the digestion and absorption of food; helps maintain proper
muscle tone; supplies oxygen and nutrients to the cells; rids the body of
wastes; and serves as a natural air conditioning system. Health officials
emphasize the importance of drinking at least eight glasses of clean water
each and every day to maintain good health.

3                                                                                                                     Water in Our Life 
Water pollution is the contamination of water bodies such as lakes, rivers,
oceans, lagoonss, and groundwater. All water pollution affects organisms
and plants that live in these bodies of water and in almost all cases the
effect is damaging either to individual species and populations but also to
the natural biological communities. It occurs when pollutants are
discharged directly or indirectly into water bodies without adequate
treatment to remove harmful constituents.

Water pollution is a major problem in the global context. It has been

suggested that it is the leading worldwide cause of deaths and diseases,
and that it accounts for the deaths of more than 14,000 people daily. An
estimated 700 million Indians have no access to a proper toilet, and
1,000 Indian children die of diarrheal sickness every day. Some 90% of
China's cities suffer from some degree of water pollution and nearly 500
million people lack access to safe drinking water. In addition to the acute
problems of water pollution in developing countries, industrialized
countries continue to struggle with pollution problems as well. In the most
recent national report on water quality in the United States, 45 percent of
assessed stream miles, 47 percent of assessed lake acres, and 32 percent
of assessed bay and estuarine square miles were classified as polluted.

Water is typically referred to as polluted when it is impaired by

anthropogenic contaminants and either does not support a human use,
like serving as drinking water, and/or undergoes a marked shift in its
ability to support its constituent biotic communities, such as fish. Natural
phenomena such as volcanoes, algae blooms, storms, and earthquake
also cause major changes in water quality and the ecological status of

4                                                                                                                     Water in Our Life 
Watter resourc
ces are sources of water
w that are useful or potenttially useful to
humaans. Uses of water include agricultural, industrial, househo old, recreational
and environmmental activ
vities. Virttually all of
o these hu
uman uses s require fresh

97% ofo water on n the Earth is salt water,

w leaving only 3%
3 as fresh water off which
slightly over tw
wo thirds is
i frozen in glaciers and polarr ice caps. The rema
unfroozen freshwwater is mainly
m foun
nd as grouundwater, with only a small fra
esent abov ve ground or in the air.

Fresh water is a renewablle resource e, yet the world's su

upply of clean, freshh water
is ste
eadily decrreasing. Water
W dema and alreaddy exceeds s supply in
n many pa arts of
the world
w and as the world popula ation contin
nues to ris
se, so too does the water
deman nd. Awareeness of thhe global im
mportance e of preserrving wateer for ecos
ces has onnly recentlyy emerged d as, durin
ng the 20th century,, more tha an half
the world’s weetlands haave been lost along with their valuable e environme ental
servicces. Biodiv
versity-rich freshwater ecosys stems are currently declining faster
than marine orr land ecos systems. The
T framewwork for allocating
a w
water resoources
to water useers (where such a fra amework exists) is known as water righ hts.

We use water every

e day—
—for drinkking, for watering
w ouur lawns aand gardenns, for
recreattion, and for
f many usesu that we don't necessarily
n y see but wwhich are critical
to ou
ur lives. Laarge quanttities of water are used to gen nerate pow wer and to
o cool
electrricity-geneerating equuipment. Water
W is used for irrrigation, aquaculture
e, and
for many
m indus
strial proce
esses and commercial uses. Our O nation's undergrround
and suurface watters are vitally impo ortant to our everyda ay life.

5                                                                                                                     Water in Our Life 
12 Intterestiing Fac
cts of Waterr
1. Rou
ughly 70 percent of an adult’s body is made
m up off water.
2. At
A birth, water
w accou
unts for ap
pproximattely 80 perrcent of an
n infant’s body
3. A healthy person can drink abo
out three gallons
g (48
8 cups) off water perr day.
4. While the daaily recommmended amount
a of water is eight
e cups per day, not all
of this
t water must be consumed
c in the liquid form. Nearly eve
ery food or
o drink
m provides some wa
item ater to the
e body.
5. S
Soft drinks
s, coffee, and
a tea, while
w madee up almosst entirely of water, also
ontain cafffeine. Cafffeine can act
a as a mild
m diuretic, preventting waterr from
travelling to neccessary loc
cations in the body.
ater dissolves more substance
6. Wa ny other liquid. Whe
es than an erever it trravels,
water carrie
es chemica
als, minera
als, and nutrients w
with it.
7. Som
mewhere between 70
7 and 75 percent of
o the earth
h’s surface
e is covere
ed with
8. The earth is
s a closed system, similar
s to a terrariumm, meanin ng that it rarely
loses or gains
g extra matter. The same e water tha at existed on the earth
ons of years ago is still
s presen
nt today.
9. The
T total amount of water on the
t earth is about 326
3 n cubic miles of
10.Off all the wa
ater on thee earth, humans can used only about three tenth hs of a
percent of this
t waterr. Such usa able waterr is found in groundw
water aqu
rivers, and
a freshw
water lakes.
y the time a person feels thirssty, his or her body has lost ov
ver 1 perc
cent of
its to
otal water amount.
The weightt a person loses dire
ectly after intense physical activity is we
m water, not
n fat.

6                                                                                                                     Water in Our Life 
Water conservation in the home...

1. Check faucets and pipes for leaks

a small drip from a worn faucet washer can waste 20 gallons of water per day. Larger
leaks can waste hundreds of gallons.

2. Don't use the toilet as an ashtray or wastebasket

Every time you flush a cigarette butt, facial tissue or other small bit of trash, five to
seven gallons of water is wasted.

3. Check your toilets for leaks

put a little food colouring in your toilet tank. If, without flushing, the colour begins to
appear in the bowl within 30 minutes, you have a leak that should be repaired
immediately. Most replacement parts are inexpensive and easy to install.

4. Use your water meter to check for hidden water leaks

Read the house water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is
being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, there is a leak.

5. Install water-saving shower heads and low-flow faucet aerators

Inexpensive water-saving low-flow shower heads or restrictors are easy for the
homeowner to install. Also, long, hot showers can use five to ten gallons every
unneeded minute. Limit your showers to the time it takes to soap up, wash down and
rinse off. "Low-flow" means it uses less than 2.5 gallons per minute.
You can easily install a Shower Start showerhead, or add a Shower Start converter to
existing showerheads, which automatically pauses a running shower once it gets
Also, all household faucets should be fit with aerators. This single best home water
conservation method is also the cheapest!

6. Put plastic bottles or float booster in your toilet tank

to cut down on water waste, put an inch or two of sand or pebbles inside each of two
plastic bottles to weigh them down. Fill the bottles with water, screw the lids on, and
put them in your toilet tank, safely away from the operating mechanisms. Or, buy an
inexpensive tank bank or float booster. This may save ten or more gallons of water
per day. Be sure at least 3 gallons of water remain in the tank so it will flush
For new installations, consider buying "low flush" toilets, which use 1 to 2 gallons per
flush instead of the usual 3 to 5 gallons.

Replacing an 18 litre per flush toilet with an ultra-low volume (ULV) 6 litre flush
model represents a 70% savings in water flushed and will cut indoor water use by
about 30%.

7. Insulate your water pipes.

It's easy and inexpensive to insulate your water pipes with pre-slit foam pipe
insulation. You'll get hot water faster plus avoid wasting water while it heats up.

8. Take shorter showers.

One way to cut down on water use is to turn off the shower after soaping up, and
then turn it back on to rinse. A four-minute shower uses approximately 20 to 40
gallons of water.

9. Turn off the water after you get your toothbrush

there is no need to keep the water running while brushing your teeth. Just wet your
brush and fill a glass for mouth rinsing.

7                                                                                                                     Water in Our Life 

10. Rinse your razo or in the sin

Fill the sink with a few in
nches of waarm water. This will rin nse your ra
azor just as
s well as
runnning water,, with far le
ess waste of
o water.

11. Use your dishwasher and clothes washer for only full loads
Automatic dish hwashers and clothes washers sh hould be fu ully loaded ffor optimum
m water
coonservation n. Most mak kers of dish
hwashing so oap recomm mend not p pre-rinsing dishes
which is a big watter savings.
With clothess washers, avoid the permanent
p press cyclee, which usses an addeed 20
littres (5 gallo
ons) for the
e extra rins
se. For parttial loads, adjust
a water levels to match
the size of the e load. Repllace old clothes washe ers. New En nergy Star rated wash hers use
35 - 50% less s water andd 50% less energy perr load. If yo ou're in the
e market for a new
hes washerr, consider buying a water-saving
w g frontload washer.

12. Minim
mize use of kitchen sink garbage disposal un nits
In-sink 'c
carburettorss' require lo
ots of water to operate properly, and also add
considerably to the voluume of solid ds in a septtic tank which can lead
d to mainte
problems. S
Start a com
mpost pile as
a an altern nate method of disposing food wa aste.

13. When n washing dishes

d by hand, don't leave the water
w runniing for rinsiing
if you
y have a double-bas sin, fill one with soapy y water and d one with rrinse waterr. If you
have a single e-basin sinkk, gather wa ashed dishe es in a dish
h rack and rinse them with a
spraay device oro a painful of hot water. Dual-sw wivel aeratoors are available to make this
easier. If using
u a dish
hwasher, th here is usuaally no need to pre-rin
nse the dish hes.

14. Don'tt let the fau

ucet run whhile you clea
an vegetabbles
st rinse them
m in a stop
pper sink orr a pan of clean
c waterr. Use a dua
al-setting aerator.

15. Keeep a bottle e of drinking water in the fridge.

nning tap w
water to coo
ol it off for drinking waater is wasteful. Store
e drinking water
w in
the fridge in a safe drinking
d botttle.

8                                                                                                                     Water in Our Life 

Water c
n in the
e yard and garden....
16. Plant drought-res
d sistant lawns, shrubs and plants
if you are plantinng a new laawn, or ove er seeding an
a existing lawn, use d drought-resistant
asses such as the new w "Eco-Law wn".
Manny beautifuul shrubs annd plants th
hrive with far
f less wattering than other spec cies.
Repllace herbacceous peren nnial borders with nattive plants. Native plants will usee less
water and be mo ore resistan
nt to local plant
p diseas
ses. Consider applying g the principles of
xeeriscape for a low-maintenance, drought re esistant yarrd.
Plant slo
opes with plants
p that will retain water
w and help reduce e runoff.
Group plants
p according to the eir watering
g needs.

17. Put a layer of mulch

m around trees annd plants
Mulch h will slow evaporation
e n of moisture while dis
scouraging weed grow wth. Adding g2-4
inches s of organic c material such as commpost or bark mulch will
w increase e the ability
y of the
soil to retain mois sture. Press
s the mulchh down around the driipline of each plant too form a
slighht depression which will
w prevent or minimiz ze water runoff.
For informattion about different
d m
mulch materrials and their best use
e, click herre.

18. Don
n't water th
he gutter
Position your spriinklers so w
water lands
s on the law
wn or garde
en, not on p
paved areas. Also,
avoid wattering on windy days.

19. Water
W your lawn only when it nee eds it
A goodd way to se ee if your la
awn needs watering
w is
s to step on
n the grass.. If it spring
gs back
up whe en you mov ve, it doesnn't need wa ater. If it stays flat, the lawn is reeady for wa atering.
Lettting the grrass grow taller
t (to 3"") will also promote
p waater retentiion in the soil.
Most lawns only need abo out 1" of wa ater each week.
w Durin
ng dry spellls, you can stop
wattering altogether and thet lawn will go brown n and dormmant. Once cooler wea ather
arrives, the morniing dew and rainfall willw bring the lawn back to its usu ual vigor. This may
ressult in a bro
own summer lawn, bu ut it saves a lot of watter.

20. Deeep-soak yo our lawn

Whenn watering thet lawn, do it long ennough for the moisturre to soak ddown to the
e roots
wherre it will do
o the most good.
g A ligh
ht sprinklin
ng can evapporate quick
kly and ten
nds to
encouurage shallow root sys stems. Put an empty tunat can on
n your lawnn - when it''s full,
u've watere ed about thee right amo ount. Visit our
o naturall lawn care page for more

9                                                                                                                     Water in Our Life 

21. Water during

d the early parts
s of the day
y; avoid wa atering wheen it's windy
Early morning
m is generally better
b than dusk sincee it helps prrevent the growth of fungus.
Early watering,
w and late wattering, also
o reduce waater loss to evaporatioon. Waterinng early
in th
he day is also the bestt defence against
a slug
gs and othe er garden pests. Try not to
water when it's s windy - wind
w can blo
ow sprinkle
ers off targeet and spee
ed evaporation.

22. Ad
dd organic matter and d use efficie ent waterin ng systems for shrubs,, flower bed ds and
Adding organic material to your
y soil willl help incre
ease its abssorption annd water rettention.
Areass which are
e already planted can be 'top dressed' with compost orr organic matter. m
u can greattly reduce the
t amountt of water usedu for shrrubs, beds and lawns by:
- thee strategic placement of soaker hoses h
- installing a rain barrel
b waterr catchmen nt system
- insttalling a sim
mple drip-irrrigation sy ystem
d over-wateering plants s and shrub bs, as this can
c actuallyy diminish plant healtth and
cause yellowing of the leaves.
When hand watering g, use a va ariable spra ay nozzle foor targeted watering.

23. Don't
D run th
he hose while washingg your car
ean the carr using a pa
ail of soapy water. Usee the hose only for rin
nsing - this simple
prractice can save as much as 150 0 gallons wh
hen washinng a car. Usse a spray nozzle
when rinsing for more effficient use of water. Better
B yet, use a wateerless car washing
sysstem; theree are severral brands, such as EccoTouch, whhich are noow on the market.

24. Use a broom, not a hose,

h to cle
ean drivewa
ays and sid

25. Check for leaks in

n pipes, hos
ses, faucets
s and coupllings
Leaks outsidee the house
e may not seem
s as baad since the
ey're not as
s visible. Bu
ut they
an be just as
ca a wasteful as leaks in
ndoors. Cheeck frequenntly to keep
p them drip p-free.
Use hoose washerrs at spigots and hose
e connectionns to elimin
nate leaks.

Water consservation co
omes naturrally when everyone
e in
n the family
y is aware of
o its
mportance, and parentts take the time to tea
ach childrenn some of tthe simple water-
ng methods
savin s around the home wh hich can ma ake a big diifference.

0                                                                                                                     Water in Our Life 

Rainwwater ha arvesting g is the gathering,
g , or accum
mulating and storing, of
rainwater. Rain nwater haarvesting has been n used to provide d drinking water,
er for live
estock, water for irrrigation or to refilll aquiferss in a pro
alled groundwater recharge. Rainwatter collectted from the roofs s of
housses, tentss and locaal institutions, or from spec cially prep
pared areas of
ground, can make
m an important
i t contribu
ution to drinking w water. In some
casess, rainwatter may beb the onlly availab ble, or ecoonomical,, water soource.
Rainwater systems are simp ple to construct fro om inexpe ensive loccal
materrials, and are pote entially su
uccessful in most habitable
h locations
s. Roof
rainwaater is ussually of good
g quallity and does not require
r tre
eatment before
conssumption. Household rainfa all catchm
ment syste ems are a appropriate in
areas with an average
a r
rainfall grreater thaan 200mm m per yea ar, and noo other
acceessible waater sourc ces (Skinnner and Cotton,
C 19992).

Theere are a number of o types of

o systemms to harvvest rainwwater rangging
from very simple to the e complex x industrial system
ms. Generrally, rainwater
is either
e harrvested from the ground or from a ro oof. The rrate at whhich
water can be collected
c from eith
her system
m is depeendent on n the plann area
of the system, its efficie
ency, and the intennsity of ra

1                                                                                                                     Water in Our Life 


A flood is an overflow or accumulation of an expanse of water that submerges land. In the

sense of "flowing water", the word may also be applied to the inflow of the tide. Flooding
may result from the volume of water within a body of water, such as a river or lake, which
overflows or breaks levees, with the result that some of the water escapes its normal
boundaries. While the size of a lake or other body of water will vary with seasonal changes in
precipitation and snow melt, it is not a significant flood unless such escapes of water
endanger land areas used by man like a village, city or other inhabited area.

Floods can also occur in rivers, when the strength of the river is so high it flows out of the
river channel, particularly at bends or meanders and causes damage to homes and businesses
along such rivers. While flood damage can be virtually eliminated by moving away from
rivers and other bodies of water, since time out of mind, people have lived and worked by the
water to seek sustenance and capitalize on the gains of cheap and easy travel and commerce
by being near water. That humans continue to inhabit areas threatened by flood damage is
evidence that the perceived value of living near the water exceeds the cost of repeated
periodic flooding.

Floods are caused by many factors: heavy precipitation, severe winds over water, unusual
high tides, tsunamis, or failure of dams, levels, retention ponds, or other structures that
contained the water.

Periodic floods occur on many rivers, forming a surrounding region known as the flood plain.

Heavy During times of rain or snow, some of the water is retained in ponds or soil, some is
absorbed by grass and vegetation, some evaporates, but the rest, which reaches stream
channels, is called Surface runoff. Floods occur when ponds, lakes, riverbeds, soil, and
vegetation cannot absorb all the water. Water then runs off the land in quantities that cannot
be carried within stream channels or retained in natural ponds and man-made reservoirs.
About 30 percent of all precipitation is in the form of runoff small and that amount might be
increased by water from melting snow. River flooding is often caused by heavy rain,
sometimes increased by melting snow. A flood that rises rapidly, with little or no advance
warning, is typically called a flash flood. Flash floods usually result from intense rainfall over
a relatively small area, or if the area was already saturated from previous precipitation.

Severe winds over water

Even when rainfall is relatively light, the shorelines of lakes and bays can be flooded by
severe winds, such as during hurricanes that blow water into the shore areas, exceeding the
capacity of the shoreline to contain the water.

Unusual high tides

Coastal areas are sometimes flooded by unusually high tides induced by strong winds over
the ocean surfaces. During a hurricane, a storm tide combines the normal tide plus the storm
surge, with higher waves on top.

12                                                                                                                     Water in Our Life 


A droought is an extended
e peeriod of monnths or yearrs when a reegion notes a deficiency in its
wateer supply. Generally,
G thhis occurs when
w a regio
on receives consistentlyy below aveerage
precipittation. It cann have a subbstantial im
mpact on the ecosystem and agricullture of the affected
regioon. Althoughh droughts can c persist for
f several years,
y even a short, intense drough ht can
cauuse significaant damage and harm thhe local eco onomy. Thiss global pheenomenon has h a
widesprread impactt on agricultture. The United
U Natio
ons estimatees that an areea of fertilee soil the
size of Ukraine iss lost every year because of drough ht, deforestation, and cclimate instaability.
Lengthyy periods off drought haave long beeen a key triigger for maass migratioon and playeed a key
role inn a number of ongoing migrations and other humanitarian
h n crises in tthe Horn off Africa
a the Saheel.

Generaally, rainfall is related to

t the amouunt of waterr vapor in thhe atmospheere, combineed with
the upward forcinng of the airr mass contaaining that water
w vaporr. If either oof these is reeduced,
the resuult is a drouught. This caan be triggeered by an above
a averagge prevalennce of high pressure
systtems, winds carrying coontinental, rather
r than oceanic
o air masses ( reduced water
contennt), and ridgges of high pressure
p areeas form witth behaviorss which preevent or resttrict the
developping of thunnderstorm activity
a or raainfall over one certainn region.

Humman activity can directlyy trigger exacerbating factors

f suchh as over farrming, exceessive
irrigattion, Deforeestation, andd erosion addversely imp pact the abillity of the laand to captu
ure and
hold water. Whiile these tennd to be relaatively isolatted in their scope, activvities resulting in
global climatte change arre expected to trigger droughts
d witth a substanntial impact on
agriiculture throoughout thee world, andd especially in developiing nations. Overall, gllobal
warmiing will resuult in increaased world rainfall.
r Aloong with droought in som me areas, flooding
andd erosion will
w increase in others. Paradoxicall
P ly, some prooposed soluutions to glo obal
warminng that focuss on more active
a techniiques, solarr radiation management
m t through th
he use of
a space sunshhade for onne, may alsoo carry with them increaased chancees of drough ht.

3                                                                                                                     Water in Our Life 

4                                                                                                                     Water in Our Life