However, the consumption pattern of water leads to environmental challenges that are more local in nature because the extraction, drainage and recycling system are all linked to local ecosystem whereby the primary supply may be a local river or lake but the secondary sources (like water tanks, reservoirs, rain water harvesting plants, etc.) & the subsequent infrastructure may constitute of a complex, well engineered clean water distribution system as well as the waste water drainage system. The way these infrastructure services are shaped up and communicated to the end consumers influence the cultures of consumption of the resources. This paper critically examines the design & delivery of infrastructure services and the related methodologies to control the consumption culture with special emphasis to reduction of water wastage.
First and foremost, natural resources cannot be guaranteed to be available forever. They are bound to be drained one day even if they appear to be unlimited today. The foresight required for their preservation cannot be limited to the current generation of consumers but for a number of subsequent generations whereby no one can really predict the day when the resources would be dried off. Hence, the best strategy is to conserve as much possible today to protect the tomorrow. Hence, while the primary vision is to meet the needs for today and protect the needs of tomorrow the focus of infrastructure services need to be in shaping the culture of consumption by users in order to conserve as much as possible without affecting their day to day lifestyle. The accountability lies with both the service providers and the consumers. In addition to conservation of natural resources, the major challenge is to protect the environment from adverse aftermaths if the consumption culture is not environment friendly. In nutshell, energy, water & waste are major environment issues and hence the infrastructure services & the consumers need to collectively conceptualize conservation as a part of consumption culture.
The services comprising of natural resources like water should not be sold or marketed as product of a profit center. This is because it is not about affordability of the product such that if the buyer is able to pay the cost, he/she is free to use the product as per personal choice. On the other hand, the cost of these natural resources cannot be kept beyond the reach of the unprivileged or "not so privileged" class of the society. Hence, the key to success is in promoting awareness rather than making the resources expensive. With the vision to conserve natural resources