Day Zero – A day where there is no life sustainanceBy Manojj Dhinakaran
December 19, 2018
“Water, water, everywhere, and all the boards did shrink; Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink.”
– Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The rime of the ancient mariner
No one would have ever guessed the seriousness of those lines, nor could have understood its depth until one experiences it. But recently things have started to change drastically. Water, the source of life, the divine that we took for granted has started to vanish as vapours into the vast expanse of the sky. That same clear liquid that flowed ceaselessly every time you opened a tap, the same liquid that you used for countless other things so casually wasting it that, the earth seems to have run out of it. But isn’t there a lot of water in the sea you may ask and account for the water cycle to give you fresh water to the glaciers and other resources? True, but the rate of evaporation is much higher than that of the rate of cooling making it harder for the waters to return. Yes, we have come to the state where there is a lot of water but not a single drop for us to drink. We are running fast towards day zero, a day where there will be no water to drink.
What, Why and How Water?
Well, unlike any other liquid, water is a tasteless, odourless, and a colourless liquid that is required for the survival of the living. Being a universal solvent it has been an indispensable aid in our day to day life. The major problem is, there is a lot of water but not in the right proportions. The world that we know is made up of 71% of water in which 96.5 % is taken by the oceans while the other 3.5% of the water is in the form of water vapour, lake, glaciers and underground water that is optimal for drinking. Further in this menial percentage, about 68.7 % is locked in ice caps and 30% below the ground making them hard to access. The remaining 0.3% is alone is available to world population for its needs which is decreasing day by day. Only this fresh water is suitable for consumer purposes, whereas the saline water and the rest have the tendency to form scales and corrode the surfaces it touchless disrupting the very mechanism of flow process.
The Global Crises of Day ZERO:
It is estimated that Cape Town will be the first major city to run out of the water to its 4.3 million citizens. The city officials have announced April 12th to be day zero forcibly shutting the water system feeding the city. The major six dams that are responsible for the water have all run dry due to the severe drought and failed rainfall since 2015. The conditions have been getting worse ever since despite the water control efforts taken by the government. The city has reached a point where there is no possible way to reverse the situation but to sadly endure the inevitability. Water in the city has now been rationed to each individual at specific outlets. More than 40,000 people have been displaced out of jobs and pushed into poverty. The conditions have drastically affected both the economic and health conditions of its citizens. This is just the story of one city of the many. India is also due to face its own share of these crises soon. In this regard, Bangalore will be the first city to officially run out of its water resources followed by Chennai by 2030. We being in the tropical zone face more temperature than other European countries. With a large population to support, the water resources are being tapped to the bones to sustain the development. But there has been no effective measures taken by both the Central and State Government to curb the depleting resources. Tamil Nadu and many other agricultural states of the country are running dry of the natural water sources due to the failure of the rainfall. Crops have started to wilt without water to provide them, and heat has started to scorch the soil making them crack. If the conditions are to continue like this then we shall soon be left without food to support us and finally starve to death of food and water.
The main reasons for these drastic changes are due to the change in the global climatic conditions. Cutting down of trees and rapid urbanization of the forests into city zones have build-up of more greenhouse gases than the normal. These greenhouse gases have the tendency to increase the surface temperature by trapping them through reflection. This process makes the earth like a large oven that has an auto increase facility. Afforestation is not the only reason behind this, but also the increase in the global population that imposes this need.
What can we do now?
There are no quick remedies to change the damage that has been done. The only way to reverse the situation is to optimise the use of the remaining water that we have and hope for the storm to pass. We must all as a united front try to support each other and try to reduce the total carbon footprint of every country to a level below the hazard levels, this should be followed by the planting of more trees and developing a sustainable living within our homes itself. With these few measures, we may be able to reduce the stress levels in a few years’ time and finally be free of the crises by at least a couple of decades. Hope the situations change.
Do let me know your thoughts in the comment below.