As we know that “Availability and Sustainability of Water” is an important part of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and looking at the present scenario for water demand, it is undoubtedly clear that there is an urgent need for Sustainable Conservation of Water.
Primarily, it is very important to understand that unlike electricity water can be reused again & again. This characteristic opens the door for implementation of various options for the sustainable use of water resource. To achieve the desired purpose, different approaches should be employed to manage existing water quantity & quality. Starting with protecting and restoring freshwater ecosystems by developing sanitary infrastructure, which is crucial in protecting the freshwater from eutrophication. Secondly, desalinization has the potential to provide an adequate water quantity to those regions that are freshwater poor. However, the energy demands of reverse osmosis, a widely-used procedure used to remove salt from water, are a challenge to the adaptation of this technology as a sustainable one. This challenge can be tackled by providing its energy demands through renewable energies & efficient technologies.
Presently, the demand of the hour is, to shift focus from irrigation projects and groundwater withdrawal to Rainwater Harvesting, Smart Water Pricing, enhanced Public-Private Partnership Basin-based integrated river water management and water use efficiency. No conservation measures can be proved useful without applying it at the ground level. Therefore, greater public awareness needs to be undertaken. Above all, it’s necessary to post-monitor the steps once taken.
As per June 2018, NITI Aayog’s Report named (Composite Water Management Index for 2016-2017) nearly 600 million Indians face high to extreme water stress. This is an alarming situation as the major portion of water available to us is non-potable; the condition will be more severe in the coming future. To overcome this crisis, steps need to be taken at local, community as well as on administrative level.
Overexploitation of groundwater should be completely prohibited; groundwater should be extracted by obtaining appropriate permission from CGWA strict laws should be formed against violators who are overexploiting groundwater. Environmental consequences of groundwater exploitation need to be effectively explained to locals by local Government Bodies, Gram Sabhas etc. ZLD should be made mandatory for every industry so that fresh water load may be reduced to the certain extent. Coastal areas should focus on desalination of water as it can serve as the major relief and will reduce water demand for e.g. Nemmeli Seawater Desalination Plant at Chennai which supplies water to Chennai city. Rainwater harvesting should be made mandatory for each and every complexes / industries.
At an administrative level, Governmental Agencies should work together and make sure that clean and safe drinking water is accessible to every citizen. Degradation of water sources by pollution from various point and non-point sources should be reduced; Governmental Agencies should ensure that surface water is not polluted by discharge of any untreated effluent. For drought-prone areas, Watershed Management and minor Irrigation Projects would be suitable which should be allowed and encouraged to be developed by the local communities, with technical and financial help from the Government and NGOs. At the national level, states which are under-performing in Composite Water Management (CWM) should work in collaboration with the best CWM management states, so that techniques and steps adopted by best composite water management states can be adopted in their states.
In this technical era, where every electronic item is upgraded and replaced by latest one’s the quantity of E-waste is increasing enormously. India is the fifth largest electronic waste producer in the world. Although, there are various guidelines and rules directed by Government for E-waste management but there is a lack of awareness among common people about the ill effects of E-waste, thus they do not segregate e-waste and discard it along with common municipal solid waste which indirectly affects rag pickers, municipal workers etc.
Awareness need to be generated among people about the toxins and hazards associated with E-waste. Government should set up E-waste collecting units so that E-waste gets discarded in environmentally sound manner and the valuable material from it can be reused.
There should be regular audit by pollution control board or any designated Governmental agency to check whether bulk generators of e-waste follow the conditions which was incorporated by SPCB’s while granting permission to run unit.
E-waste include toxic substances such as Cadmium and Lead which even in a small amount, mixed with the residual waste will introduce relatively high amount of heavy metals that is very injurious to the human health. Till today we can see that E-wastes are disposed along with the municipal waste. The main focus should be given on establishing environmentally sound recycling infrastructure and then to make related regulatory regime more stringent & proper monitoring of the rules once implemented.
E-waste represents a challenging recycling problem for several reasons. This is due to the reason of the material complexity of the product, a combination of valuable metals with hazardous ones so attention is needed to attain the recycling of E-waste in environmentally friendly manner.
As of March 2018, out of total installed power capacity, 57.9% is from coal whereas solar contributes to only 5.8%. Being a tropical country geographically, India has huge potential in generating solar energy as it receives solar radiation almost throughout the year.
As mentioned above, at present only 5-6% of total install power capacity is of solar no doubt there are ongoing projects which can in future increase power dependency of country to certain extent on solar but saying solar will be mainstream of power supply is difficult as there is huge gap between solar and coal which is major source of energy in country.
As far as our country's electricity production has been considered, we can very well see an imbalance between the demand of electricity & the supply for it. In the scenario like this where the consumption is greater than the production; electricity produced by solar plants can be a fulfilling option.
India has a power generation capacity of about 170K MW of which only about 8–10% is generated through renewable sources. From the above we can mark the potential of our country to generate electricity from the renewable source like solar power. Indian climate is suitable for the solar initiatives and adequate amount of sunlight that reaches is a source of unlimited energy, adds a bonus to it. India being driven by solar units as a mainstream electricity will not only solve the purpose of electricity demand but it will also help the environment directly in the environmental protection & if we talk from the country's perspective then it will assist India in the economic development also. Solar power plants can play a huge role in meeting the energy security goals for our country.
Banning plastic is an appreciable work and by doing so Maharashtra Government has took huge step in combating plastic pollution and risks associated with it. Plastic being major required commodity in every day to day life banning it will definitely have some impact on common people but if Government has appropriate planning and provides suitable substitute which can replace plastic, Surely this ban will be successful.
Government should also take stringent against people using plastic even after providing alternative to it. Implementing plastic ban on ground is a huge administrative work which can only be implemented with effective planning.
Ban on plastic bags by the Maharashtra Government is a welcome move. The excessive careless use of plastics has caused a great environmental damage. Most of the plastic make their way into ocean in a form of microplastics. Microplastics consists a diversity of polymer types (e.g., poly-ethylene, polypropylene) which can have their sources from different areas. The formation of microplastics takes place by breaking down of larger particulate plastic by the process of photolysis, thermo-oxidation, thermo-degradation and also possibly by biodegradation.
Chemicals from plastics are becoming a constant part of daily diet for the biotic consumers, when talking about the marine pollution. Since we know that plastic do not degrade easily so it is capable of having toxic effects on both the environment as well as on the human lives.
Plastic ban has the potential to help our environment however this will only be feasible when the ban will be applicable with an alternative offered at the same time.
Imposing fine on 5 star hotels for violating waste norms is a remarkable judgement by NGT as big corporates and industrial complexes will have fear that if they
don’t manage their waste in an effective way, they can also be fined by NGT in future.
Along with imposing fine,violators should also be strictly directed to implement waste management strategy and a committee of an environmental expert should be formed to check the waste management conditions of this hotels on regular basis.
Only implementing fine won’t make any improvement in environmental conditions, it will only make sense of fear among other hotels and big corporates before violating environmental norms
NGT has not only fined the hotels for flouting the Solid Waste Management Rules but has also directed the hotels to implement proper solid and liquid waste management facilities in their respective premises with immediate effect. The fine collected from these defaulting Hotels is based on the Polluter Pays principle and this is completely justified. With a steep increase in the quantity of waste generated across the country, all establishments are equally responsible for handling their wastes and in the absence of a proper waste management strategy; the establishment is a defaulting entity and is liable to pay. Penalising the establishment is a way of reminding them that their activities are being closely monitored to ensure no pollution to the environment and as such they will seek to comply with the norms to save on paying further fines and saving their brand name from bad publicity.
Imposing fine as an environmental compensation to some extent will make the hotels consider this part and take the norms seriously. But the problem arises when they pay the fine for that particular time and after that they start their pollution scenario all over again. Imposing fine is a good thing but along with this there must be some norms or commitments to be made from the polluter’s side so that they not only pay for the damages but also will be determined to purify the environmental parameters.