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Water is an essential element for life. It is a colorless, tasteless and odorless fluid. Water occurs in three states - Solid, Liquid and Gas. We use water for drinking, cleaning, washing, cooking, growing our food etc.

Water scarcity is defined as lack of sufficient water available to meet the water needs of people. The various surveys show that the total quantity of water available today is same as it was available two thousand years ago but due to increase in population, rapid industrialization, rising standard of living etc have increased the demand for water. Today, clean drinking water has become scarce. There are billions of people across the globe who spend their entire day in search of water and on the other hand, there are those people who have access to safe and clean drinking water but they don’t use it judiciously.

It is a common saying that “Water water everywhere but not a single drop to drink”. The main causes of water scarcity are water pollution, population explosion, misuse of water, deforestation etc. When people do not have access to clean water, there is no way to clean dishes, cook food etc. It is the human nature that we value things only when they are in shortage. Due to the various human activities, that time is not far when water bodies will become dry and people will not have access to water.

Remedies to handle water scarcity are:-

  1. Education-People should be provided education about how to use water judiciously and wisely. Those people who are suffering from water scarcity should be taught the ways how they can prevent the problem from becoming worse in the future.
  2. Recycle water- Rainwater should be stored. Learning about various ways through which water can be recycled will not only help in dealing with water scarcity but also it will help in saving money.
  3. Changing the methods of dish-washing- There is a need to change our dish-washing methods and we should minimize the habit of keeping the water running while brushing the teeth. A small step can make a significant saving in water consumption.
  4. Improving practices related to farming- We need to improve the practices so that we do not use as much water and those who are using water are using it to its fullest potential. Advancements should be made in technology.
  5. Improvement in sewage system- Without proper sanitation, the water in an area becomes ridden with flies, mosquitoes etc. and it leads to various diseases like diarrhea, dysentery etc. If improvement is made in sewage system in these areas, we can prevent the water scarcity.

Drought is a natural disaster. The Oxford dictionary defines drought as the prolonged period of abnormally low rainfall, leading to water shortage. India is abundant in natural resources. Though India is rapidly moving towards the path of development, still it lacks the required techniques to face the natural calamities. The main causes of drought include shortage of rainfall, deforestation, lack of irrigation methods that could meet the water needs in times of inadequate monsoons, soil erosion etc. In this way, drought affects industries, cultivation of crops and economy on the whole. Today, one of the biggest concern is lack of rainfall. The various steps that can be taken to avoid drought like situation in India are:-

  1. Once the water is used to boil eggs then that water can be used for watering the plants.
  2. Drought tolerant trees like red maple should be grown and planted.
  3. Minimizing the habit of water running while brushing the teeth, during dishwashing etc.
  4. 4. Watering the plants and trees should be reduced at the time of spring or rainy season. 5. The taps and faucets which are leaking should be repaired in order to prevent the water shortage problem. 6. Afforestation should be done. Urban and rural forestry should be practiced. It will prevent the soil erosion thus help in preventing the droughts. 7. New improved methods of irrigation like drip irrigation methods, irrigation using sprinkler systems etc should be developed. 8. Methods of rain water harvesting like roof top rain water harvesting, surface run off harvesting etc should be adopted.

As the earth continues to warm, India will become more prone to natural calamities like droughts, floods etc. It is high time to address the drought risk management to save the lives of millions of people. It is the responsibility of Government to devise various methods to deal with drought like situation as well as water scarcity problems.

- Suhasini Gupta

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