Every year 14th March is celebrated as 'International Day of Action for Rivers' to spread message to protect the natural watershed of Earth and sustainable management of rivers. This year theme is ‘Women, Water and Climate Change’. The theme aims to create awareness on the sustainable practices to rejuvenate our rivers.
Importance of Rivers - Rivers are backbone to all existing Earth’s entities. Early human civilisation were settled near river because it provided food, water for daily purpose and became an important mode for trade & transportation. Thus river has helped in spreading the civilisation. Today it is a renewable energy source to generate electricity. The fertile alluvial soil near river basin which gives more agricultural benefit. River have ecological importance, it provides habitat and food to many organisms. It also play crucial role in maintaining the water cycle as it become natural drainage for surface water.
Sustainable Practices - The ecological health of rivers is getting worse because of increasing pollutants load, unsustainable agricultural practices, continuous construction of dams and other infrastructures. Therefore it has become a need to conserve our rivers by adopting sustainable practices. The few sustainable practices are mentioned below:-
1) Organise ‘My Drain day’ to keep our drain free from waste Activities such as drains clean-up, workshops on waste management can spread awareness among the community to know the importance of drainage.
2) Adopting zero-waste lifestyle Zero- waste lifestyle consists of ‘Recycle, Reuse, Rethink, Compost and Reduce’ which will save tonnes of solid waste which ends up into landfill and rivers.
3) Upcycled cooking oil and trap grease Direct discharge of oil, fats can block the collecting pipes which can affect the sewage treatment cycle. Therefore, upcycling cooking oil into candles, biodiesel or into soap will prevent from river pollution. Grease traps collects oil, fats from waste water before entering into municipal waste.
Sustainable practices are combined sequence of actions not an individual action. It depends on willingness of every individual, government regulation framework and policy to save our rivers. They are very good source of fresh water, therefore is very important to restore them.