How Old is This Glass of Water?

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Little Renee came running with a glass of water in her hand.

“Mom how old am I?” with some deep thought she asked me! It took me aback wondering what makes her ask such a question. I was trying to guess what it would be… But she looked at me with a queer smile and insisted again.

“You know you are four, honey,” without any hesitation I replied.

“O.K., now tell me what’s the age of this water in this glass?” like a bullet from a cannon came the next question!

“Age of the glass of water!” I was wondering what answer I could give.

Yes, mom, the age of this water!” she was still smiling like an adventurer who has found the way in the labyrinth!

“Our class teacher told about the age of this glass of water. Ms. Liza we can find it out in the Isotope hydrology laboratory.”

Laboratories Fixing the Age of Water

Nowadays these kinds of details are available in many places in such isotope hydrology laboratories. In India, Baba Atomic Energy Research Center at Mumbai, under the central government, is one of such Institutions. Many Indian Universities are focusing their attention on the study of water because it is going to be a major issue of our time. With the scientific studies at these centers, all details about certain water can be obtained with maximum accuracy. They can say where the particular water was born, which are the places where it was stagnated(water storages like ponds, lakes, rivers, etc.), the condition of the storages like dams and canals, water formation under the surface of the earth, how water is polluted and the availability of water in different places.

Isotopes to Find the Age

Isotope application helps much to trace the water resources and the age of that water. Modern science has come forward with the environmental isotopes, which are unique in regional studies of water resources to collect information about temporally and spatially integrated characteristics of groundwater systems. Certain very important areas where isotopes are useful in groundwater applications include aquifer recharge and discharge processes, flow and interconnections between the water sources, fate and transport of pollutants.

The isotopic information collected through the scientific studies is expected to be a valuable reference to scientists, practitioners and policy makers engaged in the field of water resources.

These isotope application studies have helped us to find out the nature of water. For example, they have found that about eighty per cent of water in the wells in the Kerala state in South India has bacterial presence. Some studies have shown that if there is mud formation in water as it is now continues, the wells and lakes can survive only a thousand years more. Another study says that nitrate, sulfate and other particles mix into water resources through the polluted dirty water.

Let us be Aware of the Water Sources

Water scarcity is increasing day by day and it is very urgent on every aspect of humanity to safe guard the water wealth that is available to us. Many nations have started to create awareness in protecting the groundwater resources. Water plays a very vital role in the change of climates.

Water available on our earth is a limited resource which needs all our attention so that it can be used for the uplift of the whole humanity. Water availability is going to decide the future of our life on this earth. Water is more valuable than gold. Let us use the water resources to the maximum benefit of humanity.


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