World Water Day has been celebrated each year on March 22, since 1992. This day focuses on the importance of freshwater and presses for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. Besides, the day is aimed at raising awareness, as about 2.2 billion people are living without an access to safe water resources globally. Water is a precious resource.

According to the UN, global water demand is likely to rise by over 50% by 2040. The theme of World Water Day 2021 is “Valuing Water”.  According to the United Nations, “The value of water is about much more than its price.”

Today I want to share about a campaign that was launched in Brazil (circa 2016), by leading toothpaste brand Colgate, and hotel chain Marriot. The two teamed up and decided to bring to the fore the severity of Brazil’s water scarcity. Washbasins of the hotel rooms were lined with an image (see the image above) of a Brazilian child on barren lands longing for water.

The placement of the palms of people in the picture was aligned with the drainage of the basin. So every time guests brushed their teeth or washed their hands and left the tap running, it would appear as if the water was draining from the child’s hands. This genius placement made the guests guilty every time they left the tap open, reminding them that the water they have been wasting could be used by millions who are suffering because of the water crisis.

It is said that we do not understand the value of anything until we lost it. We are lucky that we have access to clean drinking water that’s why often we take this natural resource for granted and do not feel the pain when we waste it, unintentionally  (I believe, we all know the importance of water)  or when we see that it is being wasted by others, we generally ignore it. (Forgive me if you don’t do this)

You may say that we don’t waste water and use it only for the needs, thank you so much. Still, each one of us can contribute more and save this precious resource for our future generations by adopting simple practices in daily life.

For example, we can recycle water from RO water purifier (these days almost all houses are equipped with RO water purifier). In the filtration process, lots of water gets wasted. We can recycle this water by utilising it for cleaning and washing clothes.

By turning off the tap while brushing, shaving, and cleaning dishes. Rainwater can be collected and used for watering the plants. If we spot a running tap when walking on the road (which is quite a common scenario in India), then by taking little pain in turning it off, we can save water. Apart from that, we should sensitise our children towards water scarcity and inculcate the water-saving habits in them so that they can behave as responsible citizens in the future.

I know these are small steps but at least we can start this water-saving journey by being more mindful and aware of water wastage in our home and surroundings.

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VANDANA JAISWAL

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