Blog Action Day 2010: Clean Water!


Isn’t it a shame that we have to even discuss something as basic as this? Water is Life itself! Need we say more? []

According to a West African Proverb, “Filthy water cannot be washed”. So, what measures do we take that water does not become filthy at all.

It is said that life itself has emerged from the oceans. Since the oceans cover 71% of the earth’s surface, and more than 97% of our entire planet’s water is contained in the oceans, it becomes imperative that we take good care of this most importance natural resource. Oceans also make available 99% of the space for living organisms with 90% of this territory in the deepest parts of the ocean, called the ‘abysses’. We humans have not even been able to explore 10% of this habitation; and yet, we have been polluting this large living space, making it unlivable, for such a large population of living and life giving organisms.

Our oceans are being polluted by oil leaked (600,000 barrels) in these waters by ships and other leaking automobiles, and other pollutants reach the ocean by land based activities, poisoning this living space and killing hundreds and thousands of sea creatures. Apart from this, many areas in the ocean are so over-fished that life itself in these areas is fast depleting. Not only that, these fish and other sea creatures that are consumed by humans, even though they provide the largest percentage of protein to us, also pass on disease and death back to us, almost as if saying, ‘pay the price now’.

Innumerable fish, more than 100,000 sea mammals and around 1 million sea birds are killed by plastic waste generated by human consumption. Not only this, but it is a known fact that plastic remains in our ecosystem for hundreds of years, posing a grave danger to the future generations of sea creatures too.

Coral reefs, which comprise less than 0.5 percent of our oceans, and still are home to more than ninety percent of marine life, are in grave danger too. Dilapidation of these reefs is happening at such a fast pace that out of the 109 countries whose shores these reefs border, 93 countries are already in the degrading reefs list. It is also said that nearly sixty percent of the world’s coral reefs will be gone in the next three decades. And all because of human irresponsible attitude!

Since high seas come under no country’s jurisdiction, they are the least protected areas where even protected sea species are hunted for posing danger of extinction.

More and more people are depending on the oceans for their livelihood thereby increasing the danger to marine life. It is estimated that about 7 billion people would be depending on the ocean, as their primary source of food in 20 years to come.

Global warming is contributing to the fast rising sea levels, posturing danger to land which will submerge soon, if we do not take action now. Apart from this around ninety percent of volcanic activity occurs inside the oceans, and we are not ignorant of the dangers lurking underneath. The best example could be the recent Tsunami.

Around ten percent of the earth’s surface is covered with ice and the Antarctic Circle has more ice than the Atlantic Ocean. If all the ice in the Antarctic was to melt, of course owing to our negligence, about 90 percent of our planet would be submerged under water.

Oceans absorb between 30 to 50 percent of our planet’s Carbon-dioxide. Needless to say, since the plankton forms the base of the food web & transports this carbon-dioxide down to the ocean floor and since global warming affects the oceans temperature, it is unimaginable what this could ultimately lead to.

Desalination of water by the Arabian countries is also leading to a lot of problems for our ecosystem as the untreated water mixed with other toxic pollutants that are released back into the ocean, is higher in temperature, causing immense imbalance in the oceanic ecosystem.

We are the largest intelligent inhabitants of our planet. And since we call ourselves intelligent, it is high time that we take action to protect the planet we live in and to help sustain life by making sincere efforts to save our waters. It is a shame that hundreds and thousands of people die each other owing to the lack of clean drinking water. And the fact of the matter is that all this is our own doing. A lot of the destruction we have caused cannot be undone, but what can be done is realizing that we have committed mistakes and taking steps towards saving our planet at least now.

Because Water is Life itself!

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