Oh, how I love to sit in front of my computer and read and write WordPress articles! The joy it gives me when I check out the new Daily prompt after waiting for it to appear in the blog is immense. But, what drives the machine that I use to communicate my thoughts with millions of other bloggers? What does my computer run on? Obviously, everyone knows it – electricity. Where does it come from? This one’s easy too – Coal, natural gas, water, and other sources. There is always very high demand of electricity as we are becoming more tech-savvy every new day. Today, hydroelectricity, or simply electricity generated by hydro-power, is much more in demand.
In 2015, hydro-power generated 16.6% of the world’s total electricity and 70% of all renewable electricity, according to Wikipedia. That’s a lot, indeed! The power of the hydroelectricity produced at a station is measured in WATTS. That’s why I chose to write on this topic – Watt…err! The main benefit of electricity produced from water is that it is clean, costs low, and causes less pollution. Well, looks good. But, what(t) about the disadvantages? Do we even ponder about how our source of energy is creating havoc in the lives of millions or billions of living beings, including precious flora, fauna, and also humans?
I have been witness to the river Teesta, in my home-state, flooding over its banks due to the building of around four dams over it. Due to the requirement of a reservoir, many of these hydro power stations that use dams submerge huge amounts of land. Since rivers also transport heavier particles with them, they cause siltation of particles in the dams. This can cause the dams to be filled with lots of sand and other particles, making them store less water and unable to control floods. Even if dams aren’t used, hydro plants cause loss of valuable ecosystem and productive land. People need to be relocated if a situation so arises. I don’t even know the pain of leaving the land that I was born in and settling in a new place forever. There are lots of ill-effects, but I don’t want to opine that electricity generated by hydro power is at all bad.
It is ironic that I am sitting in front of a computer, most probably which is powered by hydro-electricity, and writing an article against it. But, the point is that water is a valuable resource to us. I don’t want us to stop using it, but reduce the usage. Even if it is in the form of electricity, or in its natural, free-flowing form, we must always make sure that we save it. Close the taps after use; use as less water in the washrooms as possible; switch off electronic/electrical devices when not in use or need; and be mature enough to know that we mustn’t take things for granted. Take care of the environment so that it shall take care of us. Be humble and grateful for all that you have, else ‘watt’ shall just be another ‘What?’
(28. 06. 2016)