“Water” might be the last word of a person dying from thirst, which me or you might be hearing or even crying it out aloud in the near future, because human being’s most serious problem and dilemma in the 21st century might not be war or hunger or disease or the collapse of civic order, it may be the lack of fresh water, according to a Lana Mazahreh who is a water conservation activist. At present 1.1 billion people lack access to clean water, while 2.4 billion lack access to proper sanitation, nearly all of them in the developing countries. It is undeniable that water crisis will reach astonishing colossal levels in the years ahead. She also stated some significant facts in her talk which we might be not aware. Although water is the common substance on earth, only 2.53 percent of it is fresh, while the rest is salt water. Two thirds of the fresh water is in the form of glaciers and permanent snow cover. What is available, in lakes, rivers, aquifers and rainfall run-off, is now increasingly coming under strain from urban areas, industries in the developed world, and agriculture in the developing world which is responsible for 70% of all the water use in the world. We even cannot imagine that how would our world will likely to be if there is no water. The adult human uses on average about 100 gallons of water a day. The domestic water usage of a country in average is about 278 million gallons per day. This is only about 0.3% of world’s overall daily water usage. The other 99.7% goes to public supply, aquaculture, industrial work, and irrigation. Only about 2.5% of earth’s water is fresh and only 1% is actually attainable for usage. The available water on earth has not changed. The same water we have today has been recycled for millions of years, we are not gaining any more.(Water Conservation: Now More Than Ever, 2016)
Lana Mazahreh who is from Jordan says she grew up in a country where water scarcity is a major crisis and she learnt to save water since she was young. She developed her idea of educating people around the world on water conservation because only five percent of the world population live in a country that have more than enough water for living. She also shared her idea on water conservation based on how the water poor countries survived and thrived the water crisis. The first lesson that she gave on how to conserve water is by telling the people how much water they really have. In some draught affected countries they have made simple innovative measure to ensure the people in their country use water wisely. For instance Melbourne have installed some electronic billboards to inform people on how much water have left in the city. This is an idea that was adapted from Australia which faced water crisis from 1997 to 2009. This idea creates a community responsibility to save water and people from Melbourne start to invest and install rain water holding tanks for their need. This is a very good initiative that the government have implement because people learn to save the water and understand their current situation. From my point of view, I think Malaysia government should also implement such ideas because only then people will understand the importance of water conservation instead of advertising on television. Malaysian are quite reckless about the water conservation and they are not aware of the consequences they have to face if they are not saving water now. Before it is too late we have to come up with several ideas of water conservation in Malaysia.
Malaysia receives abundant rainfall averaging 3,000mm annually that contributes to an estimated annual water resource of some 900 billion cubic metres. About 97% of our raw water supply for agricultural, domestic and industrial needs are derived from surface water sources primarily rivers. Malaysia has 189 river basins which is 89 in Peninsular Malaysia, 78 in Sabah and 22 in Sarawak. All the rivers originate and flow from the highlands. These freshwater ecosystems are facing numerous threats and challenges. According to world wildlife fund Malaysia they have taken some measures to save water to avoid water crisis in Malaysia. Firstly, world wildlife fund Malaysia is trying to conserve river basins. The river basins are regularly maintained and restored with freshwater and ecological processes occur within the river is the key for basins to store fresh water. This approaches are known as Integrated River Basin Management (IRBM). Next, they focus on sustainable water usage as a measure of water conservation. This focuses on sustainable water use policies and practices that contribute to freshwater habitat conservation using approaches such as Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM). All the social strata should work together for these initiatives to become successful. I believe that Malaysians can bring a change in future if they start to practice water conservation now.
Lana Mazahreh also emphasizes on empowering people to save water. She also added some thoughtful ideas that was implemented on Melbourne and some other countries. She also explains that why Melbourne wants people to spend less water at home and how they convince the people to conserve water. One of the most effective way to save water is to spend less time in shower. Melbourne starts to introduce water efficient shower heads and they installed the shower heads for free. She explained that this shower head have small water regulator which controls the water flowrate. In four years, Melbourne succeeded to reduced the water usage by fifty percent per capita. In United Arab Emirates which is the second scariest water country in the world designed the “Business Heroes Tool Kit”. This is a system that monitors the water usage in industries and residential areas. When water conservation becomes the priority in country, industries try to reduce the water usage as much as they could by using this kit. This tool kit will measure the water usage and give some useful tips that could reduce the water usage. They build a network for this tool kit and they followed the tips and faced the challenge of saving water. Within one year of implementing this idea, the water usage of the industries were reduced to about thirty five percent. She also mentioned that empowering people on water conservation is really critical but it is still insufficient. She stated that to overcome water scarcity, a country level actions should be taken.