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Water Dispute

Water is an important component and constituent of human body and the universe. It is the most prominent and important of the five elements of “creation of life”. Two thirds or little more of our bodies are occupied by water so as the universe. Among the biological cycles we experience, the Lunar cycle due to the tidal waves in this water which inturn reflects on the human body too with many variations. According to physics Water is the only element that exists in all three physical states liquid, solid and vapour. This in fact makes the water cycling possible around the world. From the oceans the vaporised water forms the clouds. The clouds then carry the water to the required place. Due to the geographical influences clouds comes down as rain and the water passes through different terrains as rivers and finally join the sea to complete the cycle. In the bargain they enrich the earth, replenish the water plate, supporting the life of human, plant and animal kingdoms. Though the water looks alike physically and chemically at a gross level, it can vary very widely depending upon the geographical location, seasons, stagnancy or in flow, location like well, river, lake ,outdoor, indoor, natural or modified. Largely it depends upon the additional ingredients that get incorporated. In addition water has many unique principles, properties, attitudes that keeps altering by several factors, manipulations and interventions. We all know that physically it is the source of life. But the individual chemicals in it can contribute to well-being or disease. Fluorosis is one such illness that makes the bones brittle and lead to excessive growth with difficulty in walking due to compression of the spinal cord. This happens when fluorine level exceeds normal limits. Similarly bacteria and various other elements present as natural ingredients can also impact human health. Indian Vedic culture has additional spiritual dimension to the water. It is not a mere liquid but has enormous energy within. It is not the force of flow that is used for production of electricity. Water even in still state has energy within. Therefore, it is extensively used in various Vedic rituals, temple ceremonies as Abhishekam and distributed to people as Theertham. Historically, we have many rivers that are considered to be pious and many places where consumption of water and a sacred dip can relieve physical ailments, illnesses and even spiritual enlightenment. Many such traditional beliefs make people go in search of such waters. Our ancient systems had many practices of treating these waters with reverence and respect. No doubt with time we understood much about potability and safety of water, with the advancement of science. To enhance safety several testing and purification processes were evolved and established as a standard. The content and the containers became sophisticated and fashionable. But in the bargain we realised that many useful ingredients were depleted with the purifiers and reverse osmosis. On the other hand containers like plastic have added unwanted toxins, some of them are even carcinogenic. Change of habits using fresh waters from the natural sources to ones stored in bottles deprived us from many key compounds like magnesium, calcium, carbonates and others responsible for certain deficiencies and illnesses. All this happened in the name of safety. Thus the disputes got extended to geographical water sharing to fundamental water drinking. Now which water to consume has become a debate and dispute at an individual as well as societal level. In India high incidence of calcium, magnesium and many mineral deficiencies are now considered due to drinking processed water using wrong containers and also the wrong methods. It’s high time we resolve this fundamental problem by going back to natural sources, retaining the originality without compromising safety and potability. Biggest concern of safety arises purely from contamination majorly by human contribution. While we establish national safety guidelines and standards we must implement stringent systems to eliminate contamination at all levels. Purification, storage, distribution and consumption processes need to be revamped to make drinking water safe and uniform across the country.

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