For a drop of water

Water scarcity is becoming the most concerning problem for urban India. Data from the ministry of water resources reveals that 22 out of 33 major cities have to deal with a daily shortage of water. Coming to Delhi, I have realised that even the capital city is no different when it comes to coping with water shortage. India faces huge challenges from water scarcity, because per capita availability is going down, while demand is going up due to rapid urbanisation and industrialisation.
At independence, we had a population of 360 million with per capita water availability of 5,000 cubic metre. Since then, while our population has grown exponentially by four times, per capita water availability has decreased by one third.
We don’t get rains throughout the year, but only for about one or one-and-a-half months, while the rest of the year goes practically dry. This has lead to a situation of where only 30 per cent of the citizens have access to water and the rest have to trek up to around 5 km and or beyond for their regular requirement.
Cities depend on surrounding areas for ensuring uninterrupted supplies, as with Delhi, which is almost entirely dependent on the flow of Yamuna water from Haryana. Leakages are high at even up to 30 per cent, while transporting water. This must be minimised urgently.
The good news this year is of a bountiful monsoon, but this is not the solution. The country must have a well-meaning water policy. The government must also revisit the national water policy and focus on a common integrated perspective around planning and management of water resources. This is because, in India, water is considered to be owned by a particular state, which might be unwilling to share it with its neighbours. Rain harvesting can be very handy, as more than 90 per cent of rainwater goes waste at present. At an individual level, all of us have to be responsible enough to not to waste water or we are heading towards a much worse situation.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s