“”Thousands have lived without love. Not one without water.””
Water is the source of all life on earth. Had it not been for water, crops would not have grown on the soil and there would not have been any food for man to eat and humanity to survive. However, with the noticeable increase in the dearth of water in different countries all over the earth, it is becoming difficult for farmers and agricultural companies to keep up with the demand for food. Climatic changes are contributing to the extremes in temperatures, cutting down on precipitation. When this lack of rainfall, lasts for a long time in a given region, it results in a prolonged shortage of water supply in that area. This lack of water supply leads to failure in crops of the area thereby leading to a condition that we know as drought. As droughts result from a severe imbalance of water themselves, they further cause an invariably drastic impact on the ecosystem of the place. From human beings to animals, every living creature that does or does not depend on water is somehow affected, and the intricate balance of nature is thrown out of order leaving everyone in plight. One of the most critical health effects of drought is that people die of hunger because there is a shortage of food supply and a stark spike in the prices of food commodities that are available in the market as not everyone can afford that. Drought does not just affect the region for as long as it persists. Even after conditions of drought are overcome, the after effects linger on for some time. For the time that it lasts it also causes a significant damage to the local economy of the area. If the region experiences hot and dry seasons, then that can worsen the conditions.
Drought does not occur all of a sudden. It is a cumulative condition that occurs after a prolonged shortage of water, and several factors contributing to increasing the possibility of drought occurring in a region. From the lack of precipitation, deforestation that further causes soil erosion, climatic changes to the rise in the duration of dry and hot seasons, drought can result from any natural or man-made cause. You must keep an eye on the changes that the environment you are living in is undergoing as this will help you in understanding whether a drought is near or not. The first step to prepare for a disaster is to prevent it from occurring. Drought does occur from natural causes, but that too is a result of human activities. If your region is suddenly experiencing a lack of rainfall and a noticeable change in temperature, it is because of global warming that is a result of increasing pollution, the release of greenhouse gasses and ozone depletion all of which have been induced by man. The damage is done, but you can contribute in your little ways to prevent that from intensifying.
- Conservation of water: Shortage of water is the cause by drought and the best way to counter that is to conserve water. While you cannot make it rain, you can always work toward saving it from getting exhausted. The tiny little efforts include closing the tap off completely and not letting even a single drop of water go down the drain without using it. And this is not just for the drought. For every drop that goes down unused, there is a human being that dies of thirst. You can switch to using materials and devices that require less water than usual. For example, if you replace your conventional toilets where you need to flush after every use, with compost toilets then the work is done without a single drop of water being lost. Farmers and agricultural farms are resorting to new technology, such as the sprinkler irrigation system that uses far less water than the traditional irrigation system to grow the crops.
- Xeriscaping: More often than not, people have a garden in which they like to have all sorts of plants. Though growing trees and plants are one of the best things you could do for the environment and yourself, if you only bring about a slight change, then it would be so much better. That small change is xeriscaping. Through xeriscaping, you could tend to your love for your garden by growing plants that are native to your region. Since native plants and trees are well adapted to the local climatic conditions, they need less water to grow. As a result, you will also be saving a lot of water that was earlier used to water the non-native plants.
- Reuse of water: This is one of the best ways of conserving water. Numerous companies are developing water recycling plants that take the water that is supposed to run down the drain and purify it making it ready for use yet again. There are flushing systems that come with a sink on the top of the flush so that the water you use to wash your hands is what fills ups the flushing cistern and then flushes out of the toilet. You can save a significant amount of fresh water through this on a daily basis.
- Prevention of pollution: This is one the biggest challenge that faces the human race today. With the developing standards of living, everyone needs the latest and the best of everything not knowing if that commodity in any way is contributing to polluting the environment in its lifecycle. Avoid using chemicals in your house and your garden as the water that runs off from there may join the water supply thereby contaminating it.
These efforts are necessary for the long-term, before, during and after the drought to ensure that the extreme conditions do not return. Even if you do not live in a dry or a drought-prone country, you must contribute to saving water to the best of your ability. Drought is an extreme shortage of water, and you have to remember that not even rainfall will be able to end it altogether. Unless it is heavy and lasts for a long time, all it will do is provide you a temporary relief. There have been some severe droughts in the history of the world and with the current conditions, some equally alarming droughts are predicted to come. So it is important for you to act as soon as possible.
Here is how you should prepare yourself when the drought occurs:
- Water Supply: The first thing that you need to do before the drought occurs is to check from where you get water in your home supplied. From groundwater sources to surface water sources, knowing this will help you assess the level to which you will be affected by the water and food crisis when drought occurs. This knowledge will help you prepare better.
- Store Water: The next step after you have completed your analysis of the risk is for you to look for ways to store water for your personal use during the time the drought conditions will persist. This storage is not for a few days. Drought lasts from a few weeks to months. All you have to do is ration your family’s water needs, and you are good to go. Storing large water containers will not help because no matter how purified the water is, over time it will develop unwanted bacteria. A wonderful alternative for this is ‘survival’ water alternatives. From drinking water packets to containers, water purifiers, water barrels that contain water that will not go bad up to its expiry date, you can get anything when it comes to MRE. MRE drinking water packets and cans come with a four day to a one-year supply. So you do not have to worry about calculating how many packets you will need. If a member of your family drinks more water than usual or needs to drink more, such as nursing mothers or people who are suffering from some illness, then you can stock up accordingly. Also, it is impossible to be at as much liberty with water consumption during the drought as in normal conditions so you must educate everyone in your family about how to consume only enough water to keep their daily needs satisfied.
- Rain Storage System: Installing a system at your home that will store the rain water will be a great way of saving it for when you later need it. All you have to do is get a large drum and place it at the point from where the water from your roof falls. You could use filtering and purifiers to treat the water before consuming it.
- Food supply: Since drought conditions result in crop failure there is a sudden inflation in the price of food products that are available in the market. In such a case it is essential for you to stock up food at home to feed yourself and your family during the drought. You can opt for MRE or Meals, Ready to Eat because they are an excellent alternative over any other canned or stored food. There are a few reasons that make MRE the best survival food.
– Our MREs provide 1300 calories of energy in each meal that you consume keeping you healthy and energetic.
– Each pack of MREis packed in hermetically sealed environment, so the nutritional value does not depreciate over time
– Unlike canned foods that have added preservatives and can last for only a few months, you can get MREs that contain homestyle food that can last for up to 5 years.
– MREs are easy to store and do not require additional heating before consumption, hence the name Ready-To-Eat.
Along with MREs or Meals, Ready to Eat, you can also store essential grains like wheat and rice so you can prepare food with them when you want.
Developing ways to save water wastage, conserving water and saving up food so you don’t experience the severity of the drought is all you can do to keep yourself and your family safe. However, you must realize that human efforts can prevent the conditions that lead up to the drought. If you live in a naturally dry region that is prone to drought then building dams and canals will help in creating a channel of water supply that will substitute for the dearth of water. Not only should you save water but also encourage others around you for the same. Water pollution comes as the biggest problem in the case of a drought. Therefore, you along with others as a community must stand together to prevent water pollution and encourage its conservation.”