| Drop by drop
We have less water today than we did 50 years ago.
The amount of water remains the same on earth today, as it was when the planet was formed
about three billion years ago. However, now its demand is growing at an alarming and
Once we use water, its gone.
After water is used, it is recycled a number of times. Sometimes it can be reused within a
day, a week; or may not be used again for years. Water is resilient and responds well to
treatments. However, using water and abusing it are two different things.
There are many ways to save water. Most of these are either free or inexpensive. Even
if it comes with a price tag, it is just an initial investment, which will be recovered
with utility gains within a few years.
Saving indoorsNever pour water down the drain when there might be
Shorten your shower by one minute;
Make your home leak free;
Dont let water run, aimlessly;
Insulate water pipes to avoid wasting water while it heats
Irrigating wiseMulch to retain soil moisture;
Adopt low cost irrigation methods like drip, sprinkler etc;
Build a small circular soil wall around young plants to hold
Do not fertilise in dry conditions;
Water plants in the mornings;
Switch to low intensive crops.
Just do your bit.
Save water, drop by drop.
Can you place the letters in the right order and
complete a water scramble?
|Oxfam and water
Providing clean safe drinking water, and improving sanitation, are key elements of
Oxfams long term development work. A fact strongly emphasised in its Strategic
Plan, 2002 - 2008 as well.
Oxfam has been working in India since 1951. It began by responding to a severe famine
in Bihar. And, again when famine revisited the state in 1965 - 67, Oxfam was there to
extend its services. Since then, it has expanded and evolved a strong partnership with the
local NGOs in different parts of India, to develop programmes for the poorest. One of its
five key programmes, Right to Sustainable Livelihoods, focuses on natural
asset development. Oxfam also has projects for developing knowledge base, and spreading
Oxfam (India) Trust,
C - 5, Qutab Institutional Area,
New Delhi 110016
Tel: 26516481 - 7
Pressures on Freshwater
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has been at the forefront of assessing
global water resources while suggesting a sustainable usage pattern. Recently, it has
released Vital Water Graphics (www.unep.org/vitalwater)
a total of 40 graphics on fresh and marine waters. Water for People,
Water for Life, the United Nations World Water Development Report is another
valuable and timely addition. The following table, a part of this report (pp 14)
highlights a wide range of human uses of freshwater and its potential impact on altering
the integrity of the ecosystem.
||FUNCTIONS AT RISK
|Population and consumption growth
||Increases water abstraction and acquisition
of cultivated land through wetland drainage, and other activities
||Virtually all ecosystem functions
|Infrastructure development fisheries
||Loss of integrity alters timing and quantity
of river flows, water temperatures, nutrients and sediment transport and thus delta
replenishment,blocks fish migrations
||Water quantity, quality, habitats floodplain,
||Eliminates key components of aquatic
environment, inhibits natural recharge, fills waterbodies with silt
||Natural flood control, waterfowl and
||Depletes living resources and ecosystem
||Food production, water quantity and quality
|Introduction of exotic species
||Alters production, nutrient cycling and loss
of biodiversity among native species
||Food production, wildlife
|Release of pollutants to land, air or water
and rainfall patterns
||Pollution of waterbodies alters chemistry and
ecology of rivers, lakes and wetlands; greenhouse gas emissions hydropower,
||Water supply, habitat; climate change impact
on produce dramatic changes in runoff and