PROFESSOR OF HYDROLOGY AND WATER RESOURCES WARNS OF IMPENDING DANGER OF WATER SCARCITY*
A Professor of Hydrology and Water Resources, Abia State University, *George Nwabuko Chima, Ph.D* has disclosed that for us to think of real solution to the problem of water supply inadequacies, we have to first recognize that the earth’s water resources, like other resources, are finite and we must do everything possible to husband and manage the available water sources to guarantee its sustainability.
*According to him, “Do you know that even with the vast amount of water present on the earth, water might one day be scarce”?, stating that water is never enough, as demand for it has never been met by supply.*
Professor George Chima who disclosed this while delivering the 37th Inaugural Lecture of the University on the topic: *Water, Water Everywhere But Not Enough*, argued that water cannot be considered in isolation, as it is at the core of all aspects of human economy and society. According to him, the value of water is only compared to air, it is therefore regarded as the “First Commodity”. “An average human being can last 3months without food, but hardly can a human being last 72hours without water, as over 70% of our body is water and water covers more than 70% of the Earth’s surface, including the clouds. It makes the entire planet look blue and white from space”.
The Lecturer highlighted characteristics of water to include:
🔸 As a Universal solvent
🔸 As a Renewable Resource
🔸 Is cohesive, as it can stick to itself
🔸 Is Adhesive
🔸 Acts as a heat store
🔸 Has Mpemba Effect, ie where warmer water can freeze faster than colder water.
The Lecturer disclosed the various approaches to Water Resources Development Schemes as follows:
🔸 The Political boundary Approach
🔸 The Local Basin Approach
🔸 The Multi-Regional Basin Approach
🔸 The Multi-National Basin Approach.
On Nigeria’s Water supply problems, the Lecturer identified the following challenges for the failure of water supply projects in the Country:
🔸 Inadequate provision for assessing and evaluating Water resource potentials of the Country.
🔸 Location of boreholes on the basis of Political expediency, rather than on geological consideration.
🔸 Award of borehole contracts to people lacking in training and expertise.
🔸 Lack of proper supervision and co-ordination.
🔸 Lack of trained Manpower for operation and maintenance.
The Lecturer made the following Recommendations:
🔸 That River Basin Action Team (RBAT) should be established in each River Basin Development Authority, to be backed by Law, to monitor and manage deterioration and pollution.
🔸 That Rainwater harvesting should be vigorously pursued, especially in areas with difficult geology and in tropical regions.
🔸 That Community Leaders should be involved in Management of Community Water projects.
🔸 That the high water deficiency zones should be identified and provided with water first, before the low water deficiency zones.
🔸 That proper feasibility studies should be done before citing any water project, especially hand pump boreholes.
🔸 That Community Water Development Committees should be set up for proper water supply management.
🔸 That attitudinal change by people towards water supply projects should be encouraged.
🔸 That the demand for water and maintenance of its quality should be properly managed through appropriate Regulatory Laws.
In Conclusion, the Lecturer commended the Vice-Chancellor, *Distinguished Professor E. Uche Ikonne* for the promotion of Research, Scholarship and Sustaining the Monthly Inaugural Lecture series in the University and presented a copy of the Lecture to the Vice-Chancellor.
In appreciation, the Vice-Chancellor and Chairman *Distinguished Professor E. Uche Ikonne*, formally welcomed him into the *”College of Distinguished Professors”.*