Water-Past, Present and Future

World water day was celebrated last Sunday(Mar 22). It is observed to underline the importance of water to human life and ensuring society in general acts to ensure to preserve, conserve and use it judiciously. I had briefly consulted for a water utilities engineering company couple of years back wherein we were developing few software applications for water utilities industry. I had interesting time there, learnt more about water as an industry. I thought of sharing few thoughts on this significant occasion of World Water Day, which generally passes as a day wherein we see full page ads of water purifiers and that is it. I know subject is vast, as on each of these topics, there are multiple books and research material available.

The very fact that life form came into existence on this planet is availability of water. Since very early days, humans have starting managing water resources. In fact, all the great civilizations in the past have flourished by the river sides. There are references to water and oceans in every major mythological accounts, for example-churning of ocean in Hindu mythology, end of world due to water and mankind escaped by Noah in Bible. Water has been systematically managed since vedic ages. There are traces of dams and other material evidences of how water was managed. Even in recent history, kings and rulers have made attempts to store water, supply water through canals or through passages built out of stones etc. Mankind also has learnt to live with seas as well. It is well-known historical fact that one who ruled the seas has ruled the world.

As the world population grows, demand for water has been going up. The cities are under pressure to supply clean, potable water to every one. The major social movements have been because of water, dams and the way it affects the society. The biggest problem these days is water pollution due to unchecked industrialization. Every country is taking steps to control the pollution by industries and sewage. Water utilities(both private and public) are taking major part in cleaning water before usage. They also helping waste water management, watershed management. Some countries have thought of inter-connecting rivers to ensure the supply is even.

The side effects of global warming on polar regions is also been understood and world leaders are making efforts to reduce it. The society is in general aware of water conservation and preservation. Many parts of world has seen bad impacts of water pollution, toll taken because of that. In India itself, we have seen Mumbai hit by floods due to unchecked invasion of Mithi river. I, myself have written on this blog on water conversation movement at grass-root level and how it is impacting.

The future of water is very critical for mankind’s existence. Scientists have been working hard to make potable water out of sea water in cheap way. Water companies will rely more and more on technologies such IoT, and big data analysis to ensure that clean water is supplied all the time, with minimum cost of operations and maximum benefits to users. Technologies such as GIS are being used to map water resources effectively and take actions. Man has reached moon and mars. Before humans can start living there, we need to ensure that water is available there.

Water has been integral part of man’s life and the very existence since beginning. Water manifests itself in everything man has been doing and will be doing include arts, literature, food, transport, industrialization. Water will continue to be important and mankind will take every step to ensure that it is used judiciously. If you remember, there used to be a political slogan Roti, Kapada aur Makan. I guess, it should be now, Roti, Kapada, Makan aur Swach Paani!

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