Urban Ecology

Filed Under (Water Pollution) by admin on 07-06-2010

In the city we try to overcome the problems without addressing the real problems. The main problem is our mindset. When we face water shortage at home the only solution we think of is by installing a pump for drawing ground water. We never think as to how groundwater gets collected or even if we know we don’t care.

As a result groundwater table has depleted alarmingly, in the last decade and even when water is found the water is found contaminated. Without allowing replenishment of groundwater we keep withdrawing the underground water. Rather we pave any bare soil with cement concrete that paves water percolation. Around our homes we can easily avoid unnecessary paving of bare soil. But we believe that bare soil will increase dust and dirt around us. If the soil is allowed to remain, in no time, grass will cover the surface. But city people usually end up paving the surfaces especially in front of their homes.

We have created condition in most cities where on long weekends people escape to the countryside to enjoy nature. To achieve peace of mind, we escape from the city. Why should this be so? It is because of the way our cities are developed and our lifestyles.

Whenever it rains, nature intends that some amount of water percolates through the soil to replenish ground water. But in cities it is an obsession to pave every inch of bare soil fro the sake of beautification. The pavements do not allow the water to seep into the ground. It rather accumulates forming puddles and pools.

When streets are well drained, they look dry within minutes of the rain stopping. We appreciate and laud the civic authorities for the excellent designs of the storm water drains. But we forget two basic things which are the outcomes of this design. The area where the rain falls gets drained off without percolation. The entire water is taken through storm water pipes and released in to a nearby stream or river where flood conditions get created where as the city groundwater depletes. So we create scarcity of water in one place and excess supply of water in another place. Rather if our houses and offices had systems to harvest rainwater, it would solve the twin problems- the groundwater will get replenished and at the same time flooding of streams and rivers can be avoided. There is no need to feel helpless…..just need to take some actions to address the issue.

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