Water Has Defined Human History
Water covers almost 70% of the Earth’s surface. Undoubtedly, it is a resource that we cannot do without. And yet, those who have access to it do not understand its importance. No wonder, the CBSE syllabus has a chapter dedicated to Water in the class 7 science syllabus.
There are millions of people for whom safe drinking water is not even a guarantee, forget about it being their right.
And even though 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered with water, only 1 % is fit for human consumption.
And that’s the origin of the saying” Water Water everywhere, yet not a drop to drink!!
Water has shaped and defined the progress of human civilisation. Most of the ancient civilisations were built on the river banks.
The Indus Valley civilisation was built on the river Indus
The Egyptian civilisation thrived on the banks of the River Nile
The Mesopotamia civilisation on the Euphrates riverbanks
The Chinese civilisation on the banks of the Yellow river
And, there are many more such examples.
Here, we share some interesting facts about water distribution.
Almost 95% of water is found in the oceans
1.7% is in frozen form as in mountains, glaciers and Polar Regions.
Similarly, 1.7% is in freshwater bodies
And as a matter of fact, only 0.001% is in gaseous form as water vapour in the atmosphere
Give Water its Due Importance
Do you know that people in villages and rural areas have to walk for long stretches just to collect water for the day? It’s a day after day task. And, yet there is no guarantee that the water they are drinking is clean, safe and free from germs and other contaminants.
As the world battles climate changes, frequent droughts and changing weather patterns are becoming the reality. However, if we do not address it now, then it will escalate and blow out of proportion.
The next world war might very well be fought over water. Hence, it’s better that we collectively wake up to the fact and give water its due importance. clearly, we should educate ourselves on ways to prevent water pollution and stop unnecessary wastage.
Understanding the water cycle
Why should we study the water cycle?
Since the water cycle impacts weather patterns, it’s important.
Basically, the cycle of Evaporation- condensation and Precipitation that water goes through is called the Water cycle.
Now what does this mean?
Generally speaking water exists in three states – Solid, Liquid and Gas
The water on the surface of the Earth is in liquid form. This evaporates or turns into water vapour on account of the sun’s heat. Therefore, it is now converted into gaseous form. On account of the atmospheric pressure, water vapour starts cooling down and turns into clouds which are filled with water droplets. Therefore, it again converts into the liquid state. This is known as condensation. Now, when the clouds burst, the water droplets fall as rain on the Earth. The water which is present as snow or ice is in the solid state.
This is again the liquid form. Thus, the rain fills up the water bodies again and the process starts again.
The water cycle is very important. It greatly impacts the weather patterns on Earth. It determines if an excess of rain can cause a flood or if a lack of it can cause drought.
We all have seen RO systems or water purifiers at our homes. Now, have you ever wondered why we need to install them?
That’s because we use them to remove impurities from water and make it clean and germ-free. Hence, we make the water that comes from our water supply potable. To be specific, we make the water suitable for drinking purposes. Simply, water suitable for drinking purposes is called potable water.
But, why do we need to clean the water?
That’s because the water is contaminated and hence polluted
And, how does the water get contaminated? Well, it gets contaminated with water pollutants.
Now, what are water pollutants?
In other words, water pollutants are substances that make the water dirty and toxic. For example, sewage, household and industrial waste, flowers, idols etc.
So, now we understand that water pollution occurs when we throw unwanted substances in water. Therefore, making it toxic for consumption by living beings.
Causes of Pollution
Of course, water pollution is bad for living beings as well as the environment. There are many causes of water pollution. Hence, we should be careful when throwing things into the water.
Some of the major causes include:
- Garbage and polythene bags are thrown into water bodies
- Plastic bottles
- Fertilizers Pesticides and other waste material from agricultural land.
- Heavy metals
- Human and animal faeces
- Chemical and Oil spills
- Industrial waste from factories
- Construction Site Waste materials
- Bio-Medical waste
- Mining Activities
How to conserve water and prevent pollution
We now know more about the importance of water and the causes of water pollution.
Therefore, we should also learn about ways to conserve it and combat water pollution.
Some easy solutions that we all can implement are:
Use reusable bags and bottles instead of plastic ones.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Likewise, use buckets instead of showers to bathe
Don’t leave the tap running
Fix leaking taps
Reuse the water from RO systems to water plants or mop the house
Dispose of medical, hazardous and electronic properly
Do not throw things in rivers and other water bodies
To summarise, water is a precious resource. It is difficult to sustain life without it.