We know what we are supposed to do. Manage the available waters well. Do not deplete water sources that serve populations. Do not set up developments around water courses.
By Simon J. Mone
Cities of the world are coming up against many Water-San obstacles. Owing largely to the bad water use habits of their citizens, these conditions are conspiring to cause water; scarcity, insecurity and contamination.
Among the obstacles include; the effect of prolonged dry periods, discharge of untreated waste waters into water sources. These conditions have increased in impact and continue to affect the world in ways that need quick intervention.
The lack of interventions will lead populations into desperation for answers. It will push us against the wall. We are now desperate because we constantly experience diminishing water quantities. This is on top of poor quality of water.
In many cities, residents have for long enjoyed enough water supplied by town reservoirs. But it is no longer the case. Things are changing. Reliable access of water is quickly reducing. Apart from the drying world, in some instances, it is because of the ageing water supply systems. As we all know, supply facilities have existed for many years and probably require replacement, which is not happening fast enough.
Also, as residents, we are to blame. There is water loss because some residents vandalise water facilities. Enemies of sustainable water supply simply default on payment of water user fees. So they resort to bypassing water meters when they get disconnected. Then important to note is that a significant quantity of water wastes away in damaged pipes.
All these factors combined, call on us to take responsibility and think about sustainable water supply. Unless we become responsible citizens of our land, we could become water insecure and will experience constant water scarcity for the long-term. This water insecurity and scarcity are not unique to one single town. It cuts across all cities of the world. It will only get worse as population pressure is added on to available water supply facilities.
Whereas the biggest ‘excuse” has always been the global warming phenomenon and the changing climate, you find that some things other than to do with weather and climate, contribute a great deal to deny us access to water.
True that global warming and climate change are causing diminishing water quantities. That is why there is unpredictability of rains and alteration of the hydrological cycle. And that many surface waters have dried up, and communities that were reliant on surface water sources are also complaining of the inadequacy of available waters. And have left the growing population to compete for other available sources. Communities even share water with their livestock. It is why today, we experience water reduction. Life with inadequate water is getting tougher. That is why cities now implement water rationing in order that everybody can get access.
Are there other solutions for us to look at? Yes! We know what we are supposed to do. Manage the available waters well. Do not deplete water sources that serve populations. Do not set up developments around water courses. As is the practice around the world, cities continuously recycle and treat their waste waters and use it to supply residents. Obstructing water courses causes scarcity.
If there is wastage through leakage, report it to the right offices so they can respond quickly. Be discipline and do not use water illegally. And pay your water charges promptly. In so doing, we can use the little available, sparingly. Properly managing available waters ensures its sustainability. If the rains return and there is abundant water, let us harness it for storage and use it in times of scarcity. As residents, we need these amends to get us out of jail and ensure that we do not become more desperate.
The writer is a civil engineer