Having bottled water for daily consumption was unimaginable 20-25 years ago. Today, most of Indonesian society do have bottled water whether they like it or not. In big cities and small towns, people cannot leave from using bottled water daily due to the poor quality of natural water.
The WHO mentioned that over 1.1 billion people in rural and urban areas lack of access to potable water while 2.6 billion do not have access to basic sanitation. If this problem is not resolved soon, it is predicted that the world is risking not to be able to achieve water supply and sanitation target, unless there is extraordinary increase in work capacity and investment from now on to 2015.
Ministry of Environment stated that water pollution in Indonesia has increased by 30% as monitored in 52 rivers in Indonesia between years 2006-2011.
“Water crisis occured because human respect to water no longer exists,” said researcher from Indonesian Consortium for Religious Studies (ICRS), Dicky Sofjan, Ph.D, Friday (22/3) in conjuction with the World Water Day today.
Dicky added that respect to water had long existed as seen in the water rituals done in traditional communities around the world. The rituals are done in masses in the sea or river, for example the Merti Code ritual in Yogyakarta.
“Unfortunately, people don’t really appreciate such rituals as if they were useless while, in fact, this becomes a means for us to respect water,” Dicky said.
Besides, religions teach us to always respect and make use of water in a good way. The Koranic verses to take lessons from include the verses on Moses, Jonah or Joseph, not to mention the purification process of the body, spirit, and mind of the Muslims through ablution when they are about to perform prayers.
The low respect or care to water is worsened by human attitude that do not care about the environment. Ignorant waste disposal in the water or oceans has become a normal thing. The ignorant attitude has made the water quality worse, therefore, people’s access to clean water is getting more difficult whether for drinking or cleaning.
“What happened was water co-modification, because we have to buy water while our country is rich in waterm” Dicky explained.
Obviously, we do not want to see water crisis to continue and threaten human lives. Society not only depends on government policy but also cares for environment and water preservation. The young generation, according to Dicky, has to take the lead to also maintain water quality if they want the world to be sustainable.