Nothing could be truer and telling than the fact that water is the elixir of life. Conservation of water is as much essential as preserving our flora and fauna and also protecting our heritage. With the highly disturbing reports of our water sources drying up or depleting in nature and nuance, it is time that we sat up and gave a serious thought and consideration to measures that could help save water and conserve it for use, both for the present and future generations. There is no denying that with the fast changing patterns of life, the demand for water is going to increase, both for domestic and non-domestic purposes. Unless some prompt and purposeful measures are taken to save and conserve water, the day would not be far away when we might be asked to face the music for want of adequate and regular supply of water, for domestic, agricultural, industrial and many other usages.
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The problem of depleting water sources is real and therefore the measures to meet the challenge should be equally robust and realistic. Knowledgeable people visualise the solution in traditional wisdom and modern technology. Just as the subject of environmental studies is being taught at different levels of school and college education, similarly the subject of water (how to avoid its wastage and conserve it) should be included in school curriculum. If students, in particular, and the public, in general, are made aware how to use water prudently and conserve every drop, we can face the dilemma of scarce water resources and increasing demand for this precious liquid. With modern technology at our disposal, waste-water from cities and industry should be recycled.
A comprehensive water policy that addresses the issues related to water resources, water-table going down in certain States, crop pattern or diversification ensuring linkages with sectors like energy, forestry and agriculture, should be drawn up. Last but not least is the crying need to work in harmony with nature and give back what we take. After all the havoc that we have done to nature, the latter is still benign and bountiful. To make the best use of nature’s benevolence, all users of water in India are required to know that discretion is the better part of valor and prudence is the panacea for many a man-made mess.