Water is the most essential element of human body as well as human life-leading (Scott and Fong, 2003, p. 16). For survival there are very few sectors in a human life where water is not required, and at the time of fulfilling water requirement most of the human thinks that our earth is an infinite source of water. This idea is partially true, but if it is a question of consumable water, then the idea is absolutely wrong. It is true that world’s three of the four parts (about 75% of entire earth) contain water, but among the three parts only 2.5 percent is safely consumable water, from which only less than half of one percent are available in world’s entire water store and rest of the water are in form of ground water or soil or frozen polar ice. The only renewable source of fresh water is rainfall, which rate is only 40,000 – 50,000 cubic meters a year (Barlow). But the little sources of fresh water are being endangered due to the severe deforestation, urbanization, industrial faming, water diversion etc. Water is not only required for human life but also very essential for entire biological being of the world.
Current water supply sources and usages
In visibility the seas are containing a huge amount of water in the earth, but in real sense the fresh consumable water is about 11 trillion cubic meters existing at the disposal of humanity. Among the entire amount 95% is contained by underground and rest of the 5% is supplied by the rivers, rainfalls, and lakes. Recently snow falls has been created as another important source of fresh water, because it is safe and available in many countries. Today about only 1700 m3 of water is subsisting for a single person on the earth and the region under 1700 m3 per capital is considered as ‘water stressed’ in accordance to the water stress index. Neither the supply of water is equivalent everywhere around the earth, nor the supply is available all the year round. Many areas of the earth are being suffered by limited access of water and many areas are being suffered by over flow of water. Today the researchers are trying to find out new sources for fresh water.
The usages of water are impossible to describe entirely due to its extreme extent. Water is used in many forms for many purposes, but the rate of water usages can be classified according to several important sectors of a country. Developing countries from their entire water sources use 90% for their agricultural purposes, 5% for industrial purposes, and 5% for urban areas, whereas developed countries use 45% for agricultural purposes, 45% for industrial purposes and 10% for urban areas from their entire water sources. These are the major sectors where water is needed for country’s economic and welfare purpose, but excluding these a huge amount of water is used by human being for drinking, cooking, taking bath, washing and many other purposes.
Increasing demand of water
Nevertheless of limited water sources the demand of fresh water is increasing day by day. Agricultural sector is the most consumable sector of fresh water, which is about 70% of entire global consumption. Today due to the deforestation farmers are not getting much rain fall to water their crops, where the demand of food is extremely increasing. Thus the farmers are fulfilling their increasing demand of water through irrigation of cannel or underground water.
Among entire usages of water, industrial sectors hold 22% of them and this rate is increasing day by day due to the economic priority of industrial sector over agricultural sector. Say for example, 1 ton of wheat worth $200 is produced by 1000 tons of water, where same amount of water can output goods of worth $14000, which generates 70 times more wealth than agricultural sectors. So it is wise for a country to utilize its water in industry to earn more and choose to import agricultural products instead of produce.
Among the rest of the entire water source residential sector holds only 8%, but this sector is superior to industrial and agricultural sectors. It is assumed that by the year 2010 the 50% of entire population of the world will live in city and if so the demand of water will radically be increase due to the excessive use of showers, washing machines, flush toilets etc luxurious products.
Water ‘the Blue Gold’
Due to the increasing rate of demand water is now being titled as the ‘oil of 21st century’ or ‘Blue Gold’. It has been predicted that in recent future that country will lead the world’s economy, which will hold the maximum water resources, whereas today the countries having enough oil resources are leading the world’s economy. Today Canadian water is called the ‘Blue Gold’ due to Canada’s developing water business, whereas it has been forecasted that Canada will be the OPEC of water and by 2010 Canada will export huge quantity of water to USA as well as export bulk water to the parched countries of the world. Not only Canada is involved with water business but also Sitka and Alaska doing well in water business. Bottled water business is one of the rapid growing businesses today all over the world. In 1970s the annual volume of sold bottle water was 300 million, in 1980 it was 630 million and in 2000 it raised to 8 billion. The major reason behind the successful water business is the increasing rate of water pollution due to the rapid industrialization.
Water pollution and crisis today
Water pollution has become a severe problem today. The United Nations Environmental Programs reported that about 1.2 billion people are suffered by polluted water, 1.8 million people are died by diarrheal diseases and 15 million child deaths are caused by water pollution every year. In some country water pollution has become a serious problem. Say for example, in U.S. 40% of rivers and lakes are so impure to carry normal activities, in china 80% of rivers are too impure for fish survival, in Japan 30% of groundwater are polluted by industrial adulteration, and about 500 million people depends on Ganges River, which is one of the mainly impure river of the world. Water crisis is one of the major challenges of 21st century, because about 20% of world’s population is living in areas of limited water or polluted water. Today about 1.1 billion people are not getting pure water and by 2025 it will be about 3 billion, and all of them about 80% will be from developing countries.
Reasons and solution for water pollution
The major cause behind water pollution is the excessive water and throw of industrial dirt mixed with water into the river. Industries are using several chemicals for production, which are latterly thrown into the river. Agricultural activities also cause water pollution by applying nitrogen fertilizer into the field (Scheierling, 1995, p.12). Because the nitrates mixed water is very harmful for plant and animal being. Improper sanitation system is a major cause of water pollution in underdeveloped and developing countries, which generates many diseases.
The problems of water pollution must be solved for a better future. A more sustainable and equitable management of water can remove the present water crisis. Industries should throw their dirt far away from the locality and in agricultural purpose the use of nitrogen fertilizer have to be reduced, so that these harmful elements can’t pollute the water resource. Government has to ensure absolute sanitation system. If these are done, then it is possible to solve current water crisis partially.
The rate of global consumption of water is being doubled by every twenty years, which is beyond twofold of the rate of human population growth (Trimble, 2007, p. 1370). Today beyond 1 billion people of entire world’s population are not getting fresh drinking water in accordance to UN. And if these trends continue, then by the year 2025 the demand of water will be increased by 50% more than the current amount (Amarasinghe and Mutuwatta, 1999, p.29). So it’s better time to take necessary steps with a view to ensuring necessary water supply for future.