The four basic necessities for the survival of a human being are of course food, water, shelter and clothing. If one of these is in short supply or is unavailable, life becomes difficult and at times impossible. Billions of dollars is being spent on the Mars expedition by the U.S. administration only to find out if there is water on the red plane. In Goa too, we have to go in search of water every day. We are aware of the shortage of water in the deserts. It is as if we are living in a desert. We have been deprived of our basic needs. In the good old days we used to get water flowing from our taps 24x7. Now it is considered a miracle if water flows from our taps even for an hour. As a result, our taps have become just show-pieces. Water flows at such a low pressure that those living even on the first floor are left high and dry. Of course the government says that it has been beating the crisis by supplying water through water-tankers. Ever tried carrying a bucket of water to the third floor? Why don’t they fit these water-tankers with water pumps? It would have made life for those living in high-rise building a lot easier. The government now and then announces of restricted water-supply for a particular area.
But then when there is no water supply in the first place, the term ‘restricted water supply’ makes no sense. In the olden days, if the PWD water supply failed then there was always the good-old well behind the house which supplied unrestricted water supply. Now because of the garbage being dumped and sewage water seeping into the ground, the water-bed has become polluted. As a result the water in our wells has become unfit for human consumption. With the sewage pipelines and the water-pipeline criss-crossing one another, cross-contamination is always a possibility. That was the case in the capital city recently. Imagine not knowing whether the water that flows from the tap is a dangerous mixture of sewage-water. Well these are the times we live in where danger can enter our homes by any means, even through the tap-water. During the past few days the GMC hospital ran out or water supply. We are all aware of the stinking toilets in the hospital even when there is a normal supply of water. Imagine the situation when there is no water supply. Some operations have been reportedly postponed because of shortage of water. What happens if (God forbid) there is a major fire? Will the fire department have sufficient water to douse it? It is true that there has always been a water shortage during the summer season as the water-level at the Opa and Selaulim dam falls down. But many a times the water crisis is because of the constant bursting of the pipe-line. So what is the solution to the problem? Probably rain-water harvesting is the answer. We need to learn from the tiny ants. They store food during the fair season for use it during the rains. We need to store water during the rains for use during the hot summer season.