The Journey of Water From Abundance to Scarcity, Purity to Poison

“I used to walk about 4-5 Kms everyday to bring water. I was a little girl, seven or eight years old, that by the time I brought the pots home, they would be half empty as the water used to drip.” my grandmother recalled.

Children carrying water

Children carrying water

“Do not open that hand shower. It is leaking and a lot of water is getting wasted. If at all you open the main knob, ensure that you close it after use.” she would repeat tirelessly.

As I grew up, all of this fell into deaf ears until the reality of those words began to make sense. One day, I decided to close the tap while I brushed and took the trouble of opening it and closing it only when I needed the water. Until then, I used to keep brushing my teeth as the tap water flowed and got wasted.

Honestly, I am not the best person to advocate water conservation as I am not quite there. But having learnt not to litter the streets, I am taking tiny steps towards reducing plastic and using organic products. Focusing on saving water keeps drifting in and out of my conscious efforts. But I do try.

Where do we stand today with respect to availability of potable water?

Not much about the drinking water has changed over the years or rather the centuries. The change has happened to the human population. We have been multiplying so much that the water available has become insufficient for all of us. To add to this agony, all the freshwater is getting polluted due to factory emissions and non degradable wastes.
Statistics: Here is a representation of the countries facing a high percentage of water withdrawal compared to available water in their respective area in 1995 and 2025. (Image and Information Source: Quizover) Shocking. Isn’t it?

Countries facing water stress - 1995 Vs 2025

Countries facing water stress – 1995 Vs 2025

Why we should save water?

Do you think the Earth needs us? What do you think will happen when we ruin, pollute, dirty, plunder and poison the Earth? Have you ever given a thought to the slogan ‘Save Earth’? Does the Earth need saving?

Once humans are done depriving the Earth of fresh water and polluting it, the Earth will empty itself of all of us and with time, will gradually find ways to survive. The Earth will remain. It does not depend on us, we depend on the Earth.

Now to come to the core issue. What do you prefer for yourself and your children? A clean death or dying bit by bit? We all know the answer. If potable drinking water reduces, it means one of the two things – Absolute dearth of water, parched throats, death due to dehydration or availability of polluted water, lots of diseases and intake of Chemicals. In either case, death is imminent but slow and painful. By this paragraph, I have just pointed at the dire consequence.

water contamination at its peak

Water contamination at its peak

The water content doesn’t change in the atmosphere. It just changes form and gets recycled through groundwater, rainwater etc. But consider this. If you waste half a glass of potable water today, you never know how it returns in future. As acid rain or as poisoned water from freshwater lakes? Maybe by putting it to a better use, you might leave something healthy for the future.

How can we save water and use it for something more meaningful?

It is about investing water to make something cleaner, fresher or healthier:

  • Keep a bottle for yourself and drink from it, ensuring you finish the water every time. This reduces use of glass/tumbler thereby avoiding throwing away unfinished glass of water.
  • Even if there is an unfinished glass of water, leave it for pets or birds.
  • Cultivate the habit of not sipping the glass so that someone else can finish the water in the glass instead of throwing it away deeming it unfit as someone else has sipped it.
  • Where you have RO purifiers, collect the waste water that leaves the spare tube and use it to clean floors, water plants or wash vessels in the initial stage.
  • If buckets in bathroom are filled and you need the bucket for another purpose, keep aside or use the water for the toilet instead of using the flush.
  • Collect rainwater if possible and use it to wash vehicle, bathe your pets, water the plants and so on.
  • Turn off the taps/shower while lathering your face/body with soap and turn them on only when you need to wash it off. Most of us, for the sake of convenience, leave the water running even if we aren’t using it.
  • In fact, storing water for bathing reduces wastage of water compared to using shower.

You can take a baby step to save water right now by #cuttingpani. It is a simple initiative by livpure. This video will give you an idea of what it is:

If you are convinced with the concept of #cuttingpani, I’ll leave this graphic here of which at least some can be used to preserve water.


Hope that helped. Do you have any tips to reduce water wastage? If so do let me know in the comments. Together, we can leave some additional pure water for the future generation. 🙂

To start with, it you wish to see a difference, please sign this petition which will be submitted to restaurant owners and concerned government authorities to take appropriate measures for the implementation of #CuttingPaani.

Image courtesy: Child carrying water, Water contamination, Graphic on reducing water usage.

Disclaimer: A Few Handpicked Things does not claim ownership to any of the images in this post. Due credits as to the source have been given. If any of the images needs to be taken down, please contact me.