Fun-filled, traumatic, joyous, troublesome, boring, cruel, pleasing, satisfying, challenging, tempting, misleading - yes Life is full of 'em - that is why life is so very SPECIAL - and yet the thrill is in "living" life! And all the accompanying ordeals are the frills attached with the thrills.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Water Water everywhere!

Unprecedented rainfall in South India! Flooded rivers, watery roads, slushy houses. Looks like the constrast which life offers is best personified now. Until recently, Tamilnadu was reeling in drought and water scarcity was the order of the day! And today huge (that's huge with a capital 'H') quantity of water is going waste into the sea. Again, how long would this water sustain us from yet another dry period? All this put together makes me wonder if even the drought situation and floods is man-made? Inadequate water management - or probably scant regard to a precious commodity!

Considering Madras alone, the two main water resources - Adyar and Cooum rivers - have become drainage flows. Infact many people would even chuckle if I were to refer Cooum as a river. Once upon a time - certainly until the mid of last century - there was a boat house on banks of Adyar river and the Buckingham canal was used for navigation.

How many of you know that there was a huge lake in the area now compassing Kodambakkam, T.Nagar, West Mambalam, K.K.Nagar? It was called the Long Tank and later as Mylapur Tank (not to be confused with the artificial temple tank beside Kapleeswarar temple). No wonder these areas get inundated during rains today - now you know why!

So all the major water resources are either polluted, encroached upon or ignored. So recharging ground water has come down drastically whereas ground water withdrawal has increased manifold. Rain water harvesting was an expedient scheme. But again how many of us really understood its significance and implemented it in full earnest?

Imagine a clear Adyar or Cooum river with neat parks by the sides, boat clubs, fishing spots, a steamer passing by to ferry passengers in the likes of Kerala! The alternate mode of transport would not only be cheap but eco-friendly too (considering the motor-less boats), apart from the bliss of travelling in a boat! More importantly, two sources of water are intact ensuring water supply for major part of the year!

People never seem to value the importance of water. You are likely to find a fully turned tap open to wash vessels when just half of that 'turning' would have sufficed. Drinking water is used where recycled or probably unpotable water is all that was required like when washing cars, floors, watering plants, shaving/brushing with the tap turned on, showering in full flow for long time, using buckets and buckets of water for washing clothes... the list goes on and on.

Instead of lamenting at the government always, we could do our little best to counter the water scarcity - use buckets/mugs instead of running water thru' hoses, showers, use alternate water (recycled, hard or dirty water) wherever possible, implement rain water harvesting, reduce water wastage.

I have an idea for the government too! The government can probably introduce another water line in houses/industries and other establishments. The pipeline would be in a different colour to differentiate from the regular drinking water line. This line can supply treated (or recycled) sewage water. Ofcourse, it could be made potable too but alteast the public can use this water for 'other' purposes - wash clothes, utensils, floors, cars or water plants. Major beneficiaries would be industrial plants and hotels were large quantities of water is consumed. But will this work?

I read some nice posts on similar lines here and here.


sthupit girl said...


i think it's huge, with a capital everything, not the H only.. :D

very iinformative post!

வேதா said...

hi ravi,
the post is jus great. imagining adyar or cooum river filled with real river water is really nice.i hope everyone would be happy to have it like that.urs idea of introducing seperate lines for supply of recycled water is also good.i have read that there are some people who have implemented this on their own,but it costs a lot it seems.but public would be ready to put some effort into it if the gove takes charge of it.i hope that these plans come true.

Ravi said...

Yes, especially the flooding. It was disheartening to see huge amount of water go waste - if only rain water harvesting was implemented for storm water drains as well :-(

Thanks for your comments. Though the cost would be more, it's worth it. Some big companies also have set up such plants within their premises and this water (recycled) is used to water plants, for flushing toilets etc.

Prem Abraham said...

Excellent ideas,especially the one on recycled coloured water.

In addition to this the government should also stop indiscriminate use of bore wells, which is having a irreversible effect on the water table.

Prem Abraham said...

Excellent ideas,especially the one on recycled coloured water.

In addition to this the government should also stop indiscriminate use of bore wells, which is having a irreversible effect on the water table.

Ravi said...

Thanks for coming by and also for your comments. Yes, borewell digging is a practice which needs to be controlled. Keep visiting.