Life @ AIM - K

Water - The Crisis of 21st Century

"Water is life, Water is death"

Water is one of the most precious elements of life on the planet. It is critical for satisfying the basic human needs, health, food production, energy and maintenance of regional and global ecosystems.

Over 70% of the human body is made up of water. A human being may survive without food for several days but water deprivation can kill a person within a matter of hours.

Life is, therefore, tied to water, as it is tied to air and food. And food is indeed tied to water.

Water could well be the only natural resource to touch all aspects of human civilization.

"No single measure would do more to reduce disease and save lives in the developing world than bringing safe water and adequate sanitation" (Kofi Annan).

Issues of food or health or sanitation, environment or cities or energy production, the 21st century has to deal with water quality and management.

Yet, while water sustains life, it can also cause deaths if contaminated. Some of the deadliest diseases, which kill millions around the world every year, are carried in unclean water. In fact, unsafe water and sanitation cause an estimated 80% of all diseases in the developing world, where as much as 90% of waste water is discharged without treatment. An estimated 50 to 100 lakhs people die every year-including one child every 15 second from diseases caused by poor water quality; 25,000 people are dying every day from malnutrition.

"Sold Out of Water"

The Crisis

Let us look at some of the different dimensions of this crisis.

About 120 crores of people (20% of the global population) spread across 40 countries do not have access to safe water; 240 crores of people lack adequate sanitation services.

There is no more fresh water on earth today than there was 2000 years ago when population was 3% of its current size! In the past 100 years, the world population was tripled but water use by humans has multiplied sixfold. Women in Africa and Asia walk an average distance of 6 km a day to collect water.

Fresh water fishing, a key livelihood activity around the world, is under threat. More than 20% of the world's known - 10,000 - fresh water fish species have become extinct, been threatened or endangered in recent decades.

Daily water use per person is about 600 litres in residential areas of North America and Japan and 250-350 litres in Europe whereas per capita water use per day in sub Sahara region is a mere 10 litres. (Per capita use of water in India is about 50 litres per day).

It is reckoned that one flush of a western toilet uses as much water as the average person in the developing world uses for a whole day's washing, drinking, cleaning and cooking!

"The battle for life"

Water, the Cause of the Third World War!

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 one-third. The hardest hit will be the poorest.

According to UN, by 2025 as many as 500 crores of people will be facing water shortage; as many as 270 crores will face severe water shortages, if the world continues consuming water at the present rate.

Water scarcity is estimated to cause annual global losses of 350 million tonnes of food production by 2025.

Save every drop of water today, because water shortage could well lead to the next world war. Unless appropriate measures are taken immediately, the world would soon face threats to global good supply; further environmental damage and ongoing health risks for the hundreds of millions of people lacking access to clean water.

"Fierce national competition over water resources has prompted fears that water issues contain the seeds of violent conflict" (Kofi Annan).

There are 215 trans-boundary rivers whose basins cover 50 percent of all land areas; 32% of the national boundaries are formed by water. Consequently, UN has identified 300 potential water conflict zones.

"Crisis of the Century"

Why the Crisis?

Water covers 70% of the planet but more than 97.5% of the surface water is ocean which, obviously, is not usable in industry, agriculture or as drinking water. (Desalination is far too expensive to be for widespread adoption).

The fresh water on which the world depends represents a mere 2.5% of available water. But then, three-quarters of this fresh water is trapped in the form of snow and ice. That is, all that is available for human use (and, of course, for animals as well) is 0.6% of the surface water!

Population growth, climate change, overuse/ misuse of water and pollution of available water are the principal causes of the crisis.

Irrigation accounts for two-thirds of global use of fresh water. Farmers use water less efficiently and withdraw more water to compensate for water losses. In developing countries 60% is wasted or used inefficiently.

Major sources of water pollution are human wastes, industrial wastes and chemicals and pesticides and fertilizers used for farming.

We have been pumping groundwater faster than aquifers can recharge.

Most of the water reservoirs are suffering reductions in storage capacity as a result of sedimentation caused by deforestation; on an average 1 % of the water storing capacity of the storage reservoirs is being lost annually.

Much of the municipal water supply is lost before it reaches consumers, leaking out of water mains, pipes or faucets or disappearing through illegal taps.

In plain terms, as far as fresh water is concerned, the world has been living way beyond its means.

"So Far So Good"

Not Too Late Yet!

Of all the planet's renewable resources, fresh water may well be the most unforgiving;difficult to purify, expensive to transport and impossible to substitute.

"Water is not like oil. There is no substitute. If we continue to take it for granted, much of the earth is going to run short of water or food - or both."

"A scarier prognosis is indeed difficult to conjure up."

Source :

SaCreD MaTriX

Water World Council



"Its Our Time now..."

Vivek Upadhyay, MBA 10

Defining India
A dreamland with peace and brotherhood ingrained in all the souls, where sentiments, human emotions and relations carry meaning and are prioritized; where sufferers, indigent and benefited are always helped. We all walk hand-in-hand and face all troubles happily and boldly. This is what actually our nation is.

We hold in our hands the destiny of our motherland. The dream of a united India which is recognized respected and admired by the whole world. The picture of the nation defined as above was the vision and a sweet dream in the eyes of those great freedom fighters, the people who sacrificed their lives just for the cause of the nation and for us ‘the youth of present’. We, The Young generation, the present countrymen must be ashamed of ourselves as we have failed miserably on fulfilling the dreams of those great souls. In my opinion we have ruined our nation and destroyed their dreams which they had seen and cherished for us. I think we haven’t lived up to their expectations.

My dear friends, please broaden your views and scope of thinking. Take up the responsibility of the nation; think about the nation, the aspirations and sufferings of the lower strata of society.

Please wake up, arouse your souls, and don’t be dead and stop taking up limited aims in your lives at personal levels. Its is our own responsibility not only to nourish our own lives but also make an effort of making India a better place to live in.

We have to go a long way for cherishing those beautiful dreams and vision of peaceful and united India.

Let the REVOLUTION begin


[links] Vivek

Picture Credits: Prasoon Rana

Support Child RIghts

The Most Difficult Game is about to begin"The Most Difficult Game is about to begin"

Sameena Arif, MBA 10

We all love Children, isn't it? We all like to see them illuminating this world with their smiles, but how many of us like to see emaciated children with dull eyes? Children with muddy faces and rough hands, children who were never pampered, who never had that spark in their eyes that expresses the zest for life. There are children who are caressed by their mothers and are made to take healthy diet and there are some who are made to earn for a single meal a day if they chose to survive. Yes, this is also real side to this beautiful picture of a smiling child; child labour is a reality in India and it shouldn’t come to everyone as shock, for this is evident from the little shop we pass by on the neighbouring street or from every other household where little children are kept as domestic help. Now, the choice to ignore this side of the story or to spare a thought to it is ours.

Let us see, what our government did to help those little children. According to a recent notification by the ministry of labour, issued under the child labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act 1986, children will not be employed as domestic servants or as help in dhabas, restaurants, hotels, motels, tea shops, resorts, spas or in other recreational centers. Is it good news? Of course it is; after all children are the future of our country, but then is changing a law enough for national welfare? No, for what we need is a right manner of implementation of such laws.

In our country laws are changed everyday, promises are made, plans are formulated but nothing follows as planned, and promises are hardly kept. For instant lets take this issue of child labour, though a notification has been formed, but what answers do we have to the problems faced by these children, even if they do not have to work as domestic help, or at motels, or dhabas, there are no parallel arrangements made for their proper upbringing, no special planning for the education, nutrition, and shelter is made for those children, where will they go if they don’t work; what option do they have other than earning few pennies to arrange for a single meal. The employers are well aware of the condition of such homeless children and are ready to exploit them.

Statistics reveal that India has 16.57 million child labourers – the highest in the world. Data complied by CRY reveals that as much as 54% of child labour are in agricultural sector, 18% in the manufacturing sector. In spite of numerous developments India boasts of, its children are still neglected and exploited. Lack of awareness about the basic rights of a child has lead to easy violation of laws meant to protect and empower kids. There is cheap labour available in the market in form of these children, that is why Renuka Chaudhary, Legal Expert to the Ministry for Women and Child Development and State, seeks to completely ban any child working under the age of 11 years but without any support and education what can these children do to avail their basic needs.

In a country like India where children are regarded as a gift form God, it is a pity to witness such a miserable state of children. The state, the laws, the government, nothing has helped them in true sense, now its our turn, our responsibility to help these children; to do little things to move step by step to reach the goal; then from working is not a solution, what they need is someone to truly care for them, their future, their education, and nutrition. We all need to join hands and need to help these little kids in our own way. so that these young sapling grow into tlarge trees with strong roots anbedde in our metheland.

Picture Credits: Unicef


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