Nothing is more frustrating than transitioning from having plenty of water to sudden rationing due to unexpected water scarcity. You tend to get more thirsty than usual, and the sun burns harder than before. We have all at one point experienced this, but it can be avoided.
Suppose you are lucky enough to be among the 59% of Kenyans with access to safe drinking water made available by piped water infrastructure. In that case, the impact of water scarcity rarely weighs on you. However, citizens in most rural areas do not share this luxury. As one of the developing countries recognized as water-scarce, Kenya has citizens traveling up to 8 miles to access water unsafe for human consumption due to pollution.
This, however, doesn’t have to be the case. This article will focus on the solution rather than the problem. So how can we combat water scarcity? Here are some applicable suggestions
1. Protecting or Improving Available Water Sources.
Most communities are fortunate enough to have natural springs or rivers as water sources. This water is often made unsafe for consumption due to contamination and pollution. Creating signs along the water source warning against pollution is a good start. People can build protective structures around the water source to prevent human and animal interference. They can also employ water purification methods to avoid waterborne illnesses.
2. Incorporating Water Reclamation Methods
Most people get caught up with the cozy slumber brought about by rainy seasons, forgetting they can collect the rainwater. Water harvesting, in fact, is a low-tech, low-cost solution to water scarcity, especially with water tanks prices in Kenya being relatively affordable. This means you can store and save the water for later, especially in areas receiving adequate rains. Although not so ideal for drinking, rainwater can be utilized in agriculture and sanitary practices at home, like doing laundry.
3. Providing Awareness and Education
Generating awareness about water scarcity is a crucial initiative, especially for the groups not directly feeling its impact daily. Information to be relaid would include the result and scope of water scarcity, water conservation methods, and familiarizing people with common water wastage tendencies they can avoid. This would help in creating reforms that would aid in coping with water scarcity in the future.
4. Sustainable Management of Water
Water usage in facilities can be metered and measured to analyze possible saving possibilities. Equipment can also be run properly to ensure water wastages from leaks or malfunctioning equipment do not occur. Sustainable methods like planting drought-tolerant and native plant species can reduce landscape water use by up to 20 %. Additional strategies include introducing low flush toilets or reusing bath water to water plants.
5. Encouraging Innovative Technologies
One promising innovative methodology in dealing with water scarcity is desalination. It is especially beneficial for those near salty water sources, whereby it aims to remove minerals like salt from the water to make it consumable. Other innovative methods include:
- UV and solar water filtration.
- Sewer mining.
- More efficient systems for rainwater harvesting.
It is better to take action than sit and complain about the water crisis we are all so familiar with. A good start would be working to overcome our water wastage tendencies, especially at home.