Which water would you prefer? Sparkling, tap, pure, arctic ice, reclaimed water, desalinated?

I'll have the limited edition Arctic sea ice water (1)

What do you say when a server in a restaurant asks you the kind of water you’d like to have – sparkling, still, or tap (also known as regular)? Do you respond with one of the options given, or do you ask for bottled water? How about you are given an opportunity to have customised water? Customised can mean unleaded (I just made this up), pure, or mineral.

If pure, would you like to have treated through deionisation, reverse osmosis, carbon filtering, microfiltration, ultrafiltration, ultraviolet filtration, or electrodeionization? If mineral, what kind of minerals do you want in it? If spring, which spring do you want it from? If bottled, what brand do you prefer? Last, but not the least, at what temperature do you want it to be? Chilled, slightly chilled, slightly warm, warm, 35 deg Celsius?

Wait, the list hasn’t finished yet. Would you like spring water dug from underground or surface water? Or do you prefer we fetch it from a well? We also have a limited edition Arctic ice water that has been melting away from the ice sheet for quite some time now. Would you like water from a desalination plant or reclaimed water such as NEWater? We also have well-preserved rainwater for your disposal.

Perhaps in the future, there will be a way to mimic the exact water composition from a particular spring so that we no more deplete groundwater? Who knows maybe it has been condensed from the fog? Perhaps someday you’ll have your own portable fog collector. Because how do you know the restaurants are telling the truth? We will then need third-party certifications such as Pure Random Estimations (P.U.R.E.)?

Spare me some water: who has the right to water?

Early on in my life, someone said to me that it is a good idea to keep some water out in the window for the sparrows. Mumbai has very few avenues where a sparrow can get a good amount of water to wiggle its feathers in to clean itself or to quench its thirst. There are some I know who spare some water for the little sparrows. I’ve seen some come to my window here in New Jersey too but I don’t have to spare them water here because our apartment has a great view of a river. However, why do they still come to the water on the ground flowing out of a water faucet? May be they do go to the river and I’ve not noticed. I took the following video of a sparrow in water this morning:

Did you know? The world’s oldest desert, the Namib Desert has existed for at least 55 million years, completely devoid of surface water but bisected by several dry riverbeds. These riverbeds are vegetated and are home to a few ungulates, such as Hartmann’s zebras. The south of the desert is extremely dry and even lacks dry riverbeds; gemsbok is the only large mammal to occur in this harsh environment. Thick fogs are frequent along the coast and are the life-blood of the desert, providing enough moisture for a number of interesting, highly-adapted animal species to survive. Source: WWF

Drought can be caused by:

  • Lack of rain or snow over a period of time
  • Disturbance in the water cycle
  • Changes in the wind patterns that move clouds and moisture through the atmosphere can cause a place to not receive its normal amount of rain or snow over a long period of time

Climate change induced drought affects not only birds but all of the species on the planet. It has made cold-water fishes to migrate to colder regions and created dead zones that are drained of oxygen. Where areas that have intense flooding it means less reproduction for some species such as salmon and spread of water-borne diseases.

What do we do about the drought? In India, the first “water train”—with 10 tank cars each holding 54,000 liters of water reached the drought prone Latur. In California, the mandatory water conservation rules fail to take into account that the agriculture industry consumes 80 percent of the state’s water and is was exempt from the new restrictions. Solution to which may lie in free market for water.

Water right in water law refers to the right of a user to use water from a water source, e.g., a river, stream, pond or source of groundwater. Selling water access entitlements is called water trading. Water trading in the world is mapped below:
Water trading map

Yesterday I met an old lady in a table tennis club that my husband and I go to. We ended up talking about rainwater harvesting and she told me that it is illegal in some parts of the US. I thought it is not fair that if the water falls on one’s property one should be entitled to it. To which she said that it is not so straight forward. What do you think? Should we be entitled to all or some of the the rainwater that we collect on our roofs? While this is the situation in US, India is trying to make rainwater harvesting mandatory. Hmm.