If water is the essence of life, oil is the soul of energy. If water causes growth, oil is akin to prosperity. Both are vital to human existence in their own different ways. People are counselled not to waste them pointlessly.
However, the fact on the ground is quite reverse. Both water and oil wastage is quite common in India and in the Arab world.
Most of the people in India believe that there is enough water on the earth and hence wasting is no crime .
They seem happy and contended in the way they live and care for the most valuable gift of nature, i.e. water. More or less, the same attitude prevails among Arabs toward the consumption of oil, i.e. petrol in their routine life.
From Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates to the North African country, Libya, the youths are quite convinced of their natural resources, and thus they mismanage petrol in a number of ways.
Whenever they feel frustrated being drawn out at home, they go on a longer drive.
Many youths simply keep the cars on in the parking while they shop, some even park their vehicles anywhere with air-condition on and begin to play games inside for a fun.
Even many of them just keep driving cars for an hour or so after dinner as if it is a substitute for a walk, and so on.
What ‘water’ is to many people in India or to the other parts of the world, ‘petrol’ is to individuals in the oil-producing countries. They simply use them carefree ignoring the cost-value of their natural resources.
As a result, the impact of this luxury seems reverse and adverse on both sides. If oil is saved in drops in India, drinkable water is treasured in the Arab world.
The extravagance of one leads to the frugality of others. Indisputably, water is costlier in the shops than oil at petrol pump stations in the oil producing Arab countries.
For instance, Libya offers its native consumers seven litres of petrol per dinar while one dinar will hardly fetch two litres of quality drinkable water bottle like that of water packed and sold by Nabaa.
More or less, the same applies to other oil-producing Arab countries. What is to put oneself to assessment is that both water and oil are precious resources for living and are in limited reserves.
One should know that though 97% of the earth is covered with water, only 2.5% of this water is drinkable. Out of this, 70% is in the form of glaciers and icecaps.
As for oil, 80% of the world’s oil reserves are located in just 13 countries which make up OPEC (the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) consisting of Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates to name a few.
The alarm bells have already started as surveys indicate that oil will become increasingly scarce beyond 2030 at the present rate of consumption.
According to analysts, the monopoly of Arab countries to control oil will soon be a matter of time If the waning trend continues, the effects could be problematic both within and outside the oil producing countries forcing prices up, creating shortages and profoundly affecting the world economy.
One of the reasons why masses revolted against their governments in the Arab countries is stress caused by high rising prices as the authority could no longer subsidise the daily needs coming from the oil revenue.
It is very important to save water and oil, and conserve them judiciously. If people keep on wasting them at current rate, the loss is greater than we could imagine.