January 15, 2012
School of Engineering, Coimbatore
For twenty years now, the World Water Week has been organized in Stockholm every year during August or September to bring attention to the fact that the world’s supply of fresh water is limited and fast dwindling.
Glaciers are rapidly melting due to global warming; rivers that have their origin in these glaciers may cease to flow one day soon.
Concerned countries around the world are also organizing Water Weeks to highlight these grim facts. For instance, the India Water Week will be organized in New Delhi during April 10-14 this year.
Should India also be concerned about water supplies?
Not only are the Himalayan glaciers melting, India is also at risk because most of its drinking water comes from the ground. India is the largest user of groundwater in the world.
Water that accumulated over eons in underground aquifers is fast being pumped to the surface. In many areas, ground water levels have plunged drastically in recent times.
Is the Indian citizen worried?
Students at the Amrita campus in Coimbatore certainly are. During the previous semester, four undergraduate students of engineering, Alvin John, Maya T., Sumit S. Ashok and Mythreyi Unni organized a Water Week on campus to emphasize water conservation.
The initiative titled Jaladhara was led by Dr. Nikhil Korthurkar, who was teaching the students their mandatory class in Environmental Studies and Mr. Jagannathan Bommia, Senior Engineer on campus.
The Amrita Water Week during November 8-11, 2011 aka Jaladhara was preceded by extensive and careful planning.
“We studied the various sources of water and the ways in which water is used and wasted. We found that the per capita consumption in our campus is about 170 liters of water per day. This water is used in the bathrooms as well as for drinking in the mess halls,” shared the students.
“We felt that we needed to create awareness in the student community so that those who tend to waste water can gradually change their habits. We prepared posters, banners and stickers and stuck these everywhere on campus. We organized a rally with nearly 30 placards that conveyed strong messages about the importance of water and the need to conserve it.”
“The rally showed that if we are all united, we can avoid many problems and costs caused by water shortage.”
“There was also an exhibition with informative videos that were viewed by Amrita Vidyalayam students, as well. After understanding the issues, the young ones expressed regret for having wasted water in the past and promised that they wouldn’t waste water anymore, and that they would pass on the message to their family members and friends.”
Just like these four students organized the Water Week on campus, other groups of students in the same class completed projects for organic gardening, tree plantation, rain water harvesting and energy conservation.