The theme for this the World Water Day 2019 is Leaving no one behind, ensuring availability and sustainable management of water for all for the future.
The renowned geomorphologist and hydrologist, Mr Luna Bergere Leopold once said, “Water is the most critical resource issue of our lifetime and our children’s lifetime. The health of our water is the principal measure of how we live on the land.”
Conservation of water has been one of the most challenging problems for experts in the last three to four decades. The alarming rate at which ‘clean’ accessible water is declining, is a grave concern for all us, as we fear the worst for our upcoming generations. The major contributors to this ordeal are:
- Poor management of water resources
- Population growth
- Poor waste management
- Environmental degradation
- Lack of infrastructure for water treatment
- Poor adoption of rejuvenating the existing sources
For generations, most of modern society has been lagging in water preservation and conservation efforts. Looking at the current scenario, none of the Indian cities can provide a full-time supply of safe water (water that is accessible on the premises, available when needed, and free from contamination). This scarcity of water is impacting the industrial health of the country, with employment bearing its most severe consequences.
The role of the real estate sector
According to the water resources ministry, the per capita water availability in our country currently stands at 1,545 cubic metres when 1,700 cubic metres is considered as water stressed.
The ministry also predicts that this water availability could plunge to 1,341 cubic metres by 2025 and as low as 1,140 by 2050.
Taking this into consideration, the Indian real estate industry can play a significant role in stopping further depletion of these numbers, considering the quantum of water used by the sector.
- Stringent measures: To start with, it is imperative that we follow strict measures to conserve water and ensure there is no wastage of the water.
- Adopting best practices and products: Another way is by taking environment-friendly and less water consuming methods and products during the entire phase of construction.
- Implementation of sustainable water management and proper drainage systems can also help this cause.
- Effective management of water supply, wastewater recycling, and preventing the stormwater run-off could resolve water issue to a certain extent.
- Other strategies: Water efficient plumbing fixtures, tree plantation, irrigation, landscaping measures, water recycling and reuse, reduction of water use in HVAC systems can all go a long way towards conservation of water.
- Creating a robust rainwater harvesting system: Implementation of this will not only help in conserving water but also in monitoring wastage and replenishing rapidly depleting water levels.
The adverse effects of climate change and its impact on the existing water resources are quite evident. Hence, water conservation is gaining a strong foothold in all industries, including the realty and its ancillary industries.
Thus, many players now have started including water conservation and reduce the wastage plans from the very inception of the project. This shift in approach can also be attributed to the fact that the per capita water consumption in the country is increasing significantly every year and the water and sewer rates increased over four folds in the last decade alone.
With rapid urbanisation and depleting water sources, it is essential to have an amalgamation of traditional and modern knowledge or practices which will prove quite successful towards adopting sustainable water management and improve the overall availability of water.
Deployment of advanced technologies and measures will play a significant role in addressing the water problems in the days to come. It is high time that each one of us makes these efforts keeping in mind that out of 18% world population which resides in India, only 4% have access to usable water sources. After all, as Ban Ki-Moon (United Nations) says, “Sustainable resources management of freshwater & energy holds the key to sustainable development.”
This article is contributed by Ashish R. Purvankara, Managing Director, Puravankara Limited.
(The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of RoofandFloor)