Every one of us would love to have ready access to good quality of water in adequate quantity to meet our daily needs. Paradoxically, in spite of all the technological progress the country has made after independence, ready access to good water for our daily needs is yet to become a reality in most of our cities, towns as well as villages and hamlets. In thousands of villages, women still have to walk long distances daily to collect potable water. In cities and towns, groundwater levels are falling and potable water is increasingly being purchased. Therefore it is important that we citizens should strive, in our own selfish interest, to alter this sad state of affairs. And we can make difference if only we put in efforts at the micro level – at an individual level, at the household level, at the neighborhood level and at the community level – to reduce our dependence for water on external sources. The tremendous advantage in acting at the micro-level is that we have the maximum control and influence on any activity undertaken by ourselves and we can, therefore, be that much surer of achieving results and reaping the benefits of our efforts. What are these efforts that can confer on us – the dwellers of the nation – that vital self-reliance in our daily water needs? In essence, they are: Recharging and Retaining Rainwater by tapping rainwater wherever and whenever it falls and diverting it to an appropriate storage for our use later. Purifying used water and putting it back for reuse.
Recharging and Retaining Rainwater:
Unlike many other areas in the world, our country is very fortunate in that it receives substantial rainfall from its two monsoons. If only this rainfall is tapped, it can meet fully our most essential daily need i.e. Water for our cooking and drinking needs, in every village, town and city – even in areas where the annual rainfall is scanty. And what is more, it can meet from 20 to 100% of the total water needs of practically all villages, towns and cities, depending on the rainfall in that place and its population.
Used Water Recycling:
The water that we use for bathing, washing of clothes and cleaning floors constitutes 50 to 60% of our total daily water usage. If only we clean this slightly contaminated water used for these purpose, it becomes available for fresh use again. Thus recycling of water represents the second major step in our path of self-reliance in water.