March 22 is celebrated as World Water Day. It is about what water means to people, its true value and how we can better protect this vital resource.

The water scarcity is mostly man made due to excess population growth and mismanagement of water resources.

Water scarcity can be defined as a situation when people don't have enough water to fulfil their basic needs.

Man has been wantonly wasting water in many ways, causing a shortage of the natural resource.

There is an acute water shortage in almost all the cities due to the changing lifestyle of the people. Most of our lakes have dried up. Ground water levels are abysmally low, besides being contaminated.

There is not enough water for the city's burgeoning population.

Wastage of water must, thus, be avoided.

Polluting water bodies should be avoided as all life forms depend on water to live. Besides, all vegetation requires water to survive.

Rivers and streams and lakes should, therefore, be maintained clean.

Plastic, garbage, chemicals as also synthetics should not be dumped in water bodies. Domestic and industrial wastes should not be let into water bodies.

There are plenty of ways to save and recycle water. Fix all leaking taps in your house. Seventy to 150 litres of water are wasted due to dripping taps.

As long as water flows from our taps we are satisfied. We don't understand the value of water. One can purify the stored water and use it for various purposes like washing, cleaning and cooking.

Rain, rivers and wells have been man's traditional sources of fresh water. Global warming has upset the natural patterns of rainfall.

Rivers are slowly being killed at their sources by the steady destruction of forests and the construction of big dams, and over pumping of groundwater.

In this current situation, when less and less amounts of fresh water are left on earth, we are still being careless and misusing water, which is wrong and our ways must be mended.

We are continuously wasting this precious nature's gift by doing some wrong and objectionable acts. It is to be remembered that thousands have lived without love, not one without water.

We have to pay attention to the importance of fresh water and be able to maintain the management of fresh water resources.

Don't we think leaving aside global solutions, something should be done at the national and regional levels? As has been rightly said: "A drop of water is worth more than a sack of gold to a thirsty man".

A version of this article appears in the print on March 24, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.