Water is the reason why life exists on Mother Earth. Without it, life might not be able to exist on our beloved planet and it certainly would not. But, with the passage of time, freshwater sources have become scarce. Reports of several global agencies, including the United Nations, indicate that if the current situation of water does not change and preventive measures are not taken, then the world will start to run out of fresh water by 2050. To tell about Bangladesh, water scarcity is very much prevalent in this South Asian country.
Being a tropical country, regular flooding is an annual event in Bangladesh. Because of flooding, massive areas go under water creating a crisis of water. Barind is a drought-prone area in the country’s northern region where water scarcity is acute. People living in the country’s coastal belt face similar water crises due to high salinity in both surface and groundwater. In the CHT region too, water crisis is a common problem all the year round. Not only that, water crisis prevails in most rural neighbourhoods following detection of arsenic in water of tube well which is the main source of drinking water for villagers.Moreover, there is a decreasing trend of water in urban localities where there is an immense pressure on groundwater, which is fast depleting due to rapid growth of urban population and unrestricted use of water. So, a new source for water needs to be identified. Rainwater harvesting system may function as a major alternative source of water. Rainwater harvesting basically is the accumulation of rainwater for reuse on-site, rather than allowing it to run off. Catching rainwater and using it in our daily life, can also serve as a means of removing much of our dependency on groundwater. The system itself has immense possibilities. Because of its cost effectiveness, rainwater harvesting system is being practised in the country’s Barind and coastal areas. But it is much below the optimum level.
Government and non-governmental organisations as well as enterprising individuals should come forward to popularise the system as an effective alternative for mitigating the prevailing water crisis. We must not leave this important resource unutilised.