A blog post by Sushobhan Chimoriya and Hari Khatri, BBA students
It’s still not too late to talk about it! Well, it actually is. But let’s not put this on hold any longer. So…..Water. You know that thing; the one you drink, the one you cook with. Basically, the thing that you cannot live without. But, have we really been thinking of Ganga Mata? Eh…not really! Should we care about “Water”? Um…Of Course, we should!
So, here’s the deal! 22nd of March 2019 was World Water Day. Not a big deal, right? Or is it? Indeed! It is and it must. And here is why this must be a huge deal: About 40% of the world’s population is affected by water scarcity. Over 2 billion people live in countries experiencing high water stress. Meeting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for the Water Crisis will Cost $114 Billion per year. Women around the world will spend a collective 200 million hours collecting water per day. And it is in addition to the fact that theoretically, we only have access to about 0.007% of the earth’s water. All this data comes from the official UN World Water Development Report 2019. Zooming in this perspective, Kathmandu is estimated to produce 150 tons of waste daily and almost half of this is dumped into rivers and 80 percent of the wastewater is generated by households. An article by Suhasna Suwal in ‘The World Water Project’ states that in Nepal, only 27 percent of the population has access to basic sanitation, those without access rely on local surface water sources like rivers for bathing and washing clothes. Also, more than 80% of all illnesses are caused by water-borne diseases in Nepal. Children under the age of five are the most affected with an estimated 44,000 children dying every year in Nepal from waterborne diseases. And that is not even the tip of the iceberg.
You must be thinking, “Why you are telling me this? I already know that!”. But it must come off as a surprise that knowing something and applying in real life are two different things. You might think that you are super environmentally conscious but let me object to that. You probably didn’t close the faucet off while brushing your teeth this morning. If you did, you probably prefer drinking directly from a glass over using a straw. You probably only half flush when you pee. You probably also use a reusable mug over plastic or paper cups. You probably are also not too cool to actually harvest rainwater. That must mean that you do know how much water you use in a day and how you use them. This was what we intended to know with the survey we took to ask everyone to realize the water they use on the occasion of World Water Day. But, it didn’t come off as a pleasure knowing only around 44.3% of all the respondents could actually give off somewhat trustable statistics. And the respondents weren’t serious enough to put on their thinking and realizing cap. One of the respondents reported that they use 500 liters of water a day for washing but none for cooking or drinking or bathing or any other activity. We also asked you to write down a commitment you vouch to take to play your part in water conservation. The most common thread of response was “I will bath a lot less.” or “I won’t bath at all.” We clearly took the survey for granted, the way we take water for granted. We were shocked to find out that 145 liters of water was used by a student of King’s college in a day. The world average is 50. So, things don’t look particularly encouraging. Coming back to our original question “Have we really been thinking about Ganga Mata?” We happened to realize that the answer is “No, we haven’t”.
So, what are we going to do with it? First of all, we can start with bringing all those minuscule changes in our lifestyle and the way we deal with water. For example: Take shorter showers, maybe. And definitely, don’t let the water run while you are soaping yourself. We can raise awareness in our local community. Don’t let anyone waste any water; your mother, your cousin or your chhimeki aunty. Maybe even join a water project. Learn how to recycle normal water and harvest rainwater. Learn about the processes of water cleaning and realize which one works for you and your family. You know, when you just use the water hose to sweep something away, maybe just broom it away. We need to realize that over-everything ruins the fun. So, we should never overuse water, never overeat and never ever overshop especially for something that is not essential. That could be one of the few ways you too can contribute to saving Mother Nature. And be cast in the new Paramount movie ‘Nothing Special…Just Being Responsible’.