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The world is facing the harsh reality of water crisis

Md.Magem Ali Molin
April 30, 2024 1:57 pm
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Water is a precious resource provided by nature. Water provided by nature is being used in various ways. But we are wasting that precious water every moment. Water used in our daily life. Only 1% of Earth’s total water; Fresh water is fresh and most of the remaining 99 percent is salty seawater, or frozen water. Bangladesh due to its geographical location is surrounded by rivers and receives meltwater from the Himalayas and our agricultural system has developed with it. Our food system, daily living, cooking, sanitation, everything is hard to imagine without water. We are not supposed to have a water crisis but we are seeing a water crisis in all forms of water use along with the drinking water crisis, which is threatening our very existence.

According to experts, 2024 is going to be the hottest year in the world due to the influence of El Nino. In this event, next year the temperature in the world will increase by 1.5 degrees Celsius. Droughts in Australia, heavy rains in the southern United States and low rainfall in India during the monsoon season are severely affecting the weather. UK Met Office forecaster Adam Scaife said, ‘El Nino’s influence is increasing. Its intensity in the global climate will peak at the end of this year. Researchers say that the central and eastern Pacific Ocean is warmer than the average sea surface temperature. Meteorologists say, ‘Last time such El-Nino conditions were seen in 2018-19. On average, El-Nino conditions occur every 2 to 7 years. Around 23,000 people died in storms and floods in 1997-1998 due to the effects of a strong El-Nino. 5 trillion dollars were spent to deal with the situation.

Climate change has reduced rainfall, increased temperature and drought, increased salinity of water in various regions – these are natural causes. But apart from these natural causes there are many man-made problems. The list of man-made causes is endless. Humans could have enriched the world naturally with water. He had to provide water for others after meeting his own needs. Water used to be an important export commodity but water sources are constantly being depleted. We have never seen water as a resource. “Sold at the price of water” means something very cheap. We realize that water has a nominal value after entering the bottle.

Experts have identified several reasons for water scarcity. The volume, extent and capacity of terrestrial wetlands and reservoirs indicate water scarcity No water in rivers, canals, banks, haors, floodplains, banks, lakes and ponds. On the other hand, water extraction from them for crop irrigation, fish farming and domestic use has increased significantly. As the soil water holding capacity of arable land decreases, the demand for irrigation also increases. Before the end of the monsoon season, the water in the wetlands is depleted. It has become difficult to supply enough water to meet irrigation needs during the dry season. The National Water Policy states that the water table in many irrigated areas has fallen below the effective reach of manual tubewells due to extensive groundwater extraction. There is a problem in meeting the water demand in cities and urban areas. Rising temperatures are exacerbating water scarcity.

There are many aspects of water use. Dietary requirements for healthy living are estimated at 2000 to 2500 kcal; Thus it is important to consume 2.50 to 3 liters of water per day. Apart from this, there are accounts of cooking, bathing, house cleaning, farming and cattle rearing. According to Wikipedia, only 1% of available water resources are withdrawn for human consumption; Of these, the agriculture sector is the largest (86%), domestic work 12% and industry 2%.

According to the information provided by the Chief Scientific Officer of (BRI) Irrigation and Water Management Department, on an average 1,400 liters of irrigation water is required to produce one kg of paddy in our country if rainfall is insufficient. . However, depending on the area, the demand of irrigation water exceeds about 1000 liters to 2500 liters. An average of 1,600 liters of irrigation water is required for each kg of paddy production in the north-western part of the country. One kg of boro rice requires an average of 1,600 liters of irrigation water, sometimes 2,500 litres. The total irrigated arable land is 5.58 million hectares, of which 57% is irrigated by shallow tubewells, 19% by deep tubewells and 24% by low lift pumps. 80% of irrigated arable land is used for rice production, of which boro rice is the major user. 97% of the North West region is irrigated by groundwater.

Due to climate change, water shortage is increasing in Bangladesh like other countries of the world. But blaming only the blind will not understand the whole situation and will not provide a solution. Due to unplanned extraction of groundwater for agriculture and other purposes, the water table is falling far below normal. The problem is more pronounced in the country’s northern and Khulna divisions, where water levels have reportedly dropped by around 25 to 30 feet in the past year. According to a recent study by the United Nations, among the top 10 over-extracting countries in the world in terms of groundwater extraction, Bangladesh ranks seventh. Other countries are China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Pakistan and Turkey. This information has been reported in the United Nations World Water Development Report 2022.

There is no doubt that if this courage is not taken immediately, the whole family will turn into a desert. So now is the time to think about water. If conscious countries, especially large industrialized countries, do not come forward, it will be difficult for us to have a habitable world.

Md Magem Ali Molin, Columnist &  Assistant Professor and Head of Department at (Sociology), Rosey Mozammel Women’s Honors College. Edior & publisher Daily Banalata.