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Water conservation: Lessons India can learn from California and St Kitts

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By Gaurav Sharma

With an exploding population, more water is being used up in agricultural activities than ever before. The rapid industrialization means that water is not being used just for drinking but for myriads of other purposes too.

Revered rivers such as Ganga and Yamuna have become dumping grounds for industrial effluents and human discharge. The utter apathy with which we have treated the water bodies of the country has reduced them from the pedestal of divinity to a specter of deplorable isolation.

According to a report published by BAIF Development Research Foundation, “Most of the Indian states will reach the water stress condition by 2020 and water scarcity condition by 2025.”

The UN report on Water Conservation also presents a dark picture. The study says that 65% of rainwater goes into the sea due to lack of proper conservation techniques.  Also, 90 % of waste water discharged in rivers fails to meet environmental norms.

What can California and St Kitts tell us?

Here, much can be learnt by the initiatives undertaken by other countries when it comes to preserving the most precious resource of mankind. The Caribbean nation of St Kitts has introduced some novel water conservation measures. These include highlighting consumer responsibilities such as respecting signage and rules established by the Water services department, reporting incidents of misuse and abuse of water, creating awareness of reusing water, propagating use of water saving devices among other things.

Such simple measures can be easily adopted in India. Beside the enforcement of clear-cut rules and regulations, people should be made more aware of the need to conserve water. The dire situation in which we find ourselves should be brought to light in no uncertain terms.

In California, every city and district with more than 3000 connections has been given a mandatory water conservation target ranging from 8 to 36 per cent, based on per capita use for the previous year.

Moreover, by rewarding communities that preserve water and burdening through fines those who consume water disproportionately, the government has been more proactive, not only in forcing people to adhere to water laws, but in transforming their outlook towards water as a precious natural resource.

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Google Takes Initiative To Clean And Make Our Planet Healthy

The tool suggests simple changes-like installing a low-flow showerhead and fixing common household leaks-that can help you be more water smart.

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Google to charge $40 per device to Android makers. Wikimedia Commons

Google has teamed up with the California Academy of Sciences to launch an interactive new tool that will help reduce environmental footprint by informing the amount of water your shower uses or the impact of throwing away food or turning down the water heater by a few degrees.

The tool called Your Plan, Your Planet is an interactive way to understand your environmental impact and learn simple, science-based ways to improve it.

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People must be enough conscious regarding the protection of the Environment. Pixabay

“We all want a healthy planet. The small choices we make each day can help us get there. Learn simple tips from Google and the California Academy of Sciences to leave the earth in better shape,” Google said in a blog post late on Friday.

“Our greatest impact on the planet comes from just three things: our food, water, and energy usage. And if we each made a few small changes, we could all make a big difference,” wrote Jill Puente, Planet Earth Advocate, in the blog post.

Food production accounts for more than two-thirds of the world’s water use, and over a quarter of carbon dioxide emissions.

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A Google logo is seen at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, VOA

Your Plan, Your Planet, shows the water and carbon impact of what people eat and gives them smart ways to store it so that less food ends up in the trash.

Also Read: Environmentalists Investigate The Kerala Floods

The tool also suggests simple changes-like installing a low-flow showerhead and fixing common household leaks-that can help you be more water smart.

Much of the energy we use comes from burning natural resources, which in turn releases CO2 into the air. But easy tweaks, like washing laundry on a cold and adjusting the thermostat just a few degrees, can reduce the impact in a big way, Puente noted. (IANS)