“Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink.“
Lines from “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge finally stands true!
India is facing the worst water crisis in its history, and 21 Indian cities will run out of groundwater by 2020, a new report from the NITI Aayog – a government think tank – said, highlighting the need for “urgent and improved” management of water resources.
With almost 600 million Indians facing high-to-extraordinary water stress– where over 40% of the yearly accessible surface water is utilized each year – and around 200,000 people dying consistently because of lacking access to safe water, the circumstance is probably going to intensify as the demand for water will surpass the supply by 2050, said the ‘Composite Water Management Index’ (CWMI) report, on 14 June.
Former director of National Water Academy professor Manohar Khushalani stated, “The government is depending upon the desalination in Chennai which is very expensive also however they forget that the earth is a limited planet and oceans will dry. What will we leave for our children and grandchildren? We may have a lot of money but we cannot ask our children to drink money instead of water. Using ocean water and desalination is not the solution but water harvesting is.”
He further added, “It is a collective responsibility of the government and people of the country to save water and contribute to increasing the groundwater levels.”
Manohar Khushalani is currently working as professor in Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology Delhi and has also authored books ”Irrigation Practice and designed in five volumes”.
Much-needed monsoon rains have only just arrived in some places, running weeks late, amid a heatwave that has killed at least 137 people this summer.
Truly necessary monsoon downpours have just barely touched base in some spots, running weeks late, in the midst of a heatwave that has slaughtered at least 137 people this summer.
It is calculated that 40% of India’s population will be left with no drinking water by 2030. The situation is alarming, given the fact that year 2020 is not very far. Three rivers, four water bodies, five wetlands and six forests have completely dried in Chennai despite having better water resources and rains than any other metro cities, the report said.
Currently, many Indian states, including Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Tamil Nadu are facing water shortage, changed rainfall patterns and more water related problems. The Economic Survey 2017-18 acknowledged India’s water crisis and explained what has caused this crisis. The cause of water crisis and explained by them can be rapid groundwater depletion, decline in average rainfall and increasing dry monsoon days.
To your surprise, between the year 2002-2016, the groundwater in India depleted at 10-25 mm per year. Average rainfall declined, from 1,050 mm in the Kharif — summer cropping – season of 1970 to less than 1,000 mm in Kharif 2015. Similarly, in the winter cropping, or rabi season, average rainfall declined, from approximately 150 mm in 1970 to about 100 mm in 2015. Dry days — days without rainfall — during the monsoons have increased, from approximately 40% to 45% in 2015.
NITI Aayog report said, if measures are not implemented, India will face a 6% loss in its GDP by 2050. India ranks 120th of 122 countries in a global water quality index, with nearly 70% of water being contaminated.
Samrat Basak, an expert on water-related issues from the World Resource Institute (WRI) says, India holds around 4% of global freshwater resources and 16% of the world’s population. Water-intensive agricultural practices and growing water demand for industrial, energy production and domestic purposes are significantly stressing India’s limited water resource.
Seven states scored between 50-65 percent – including Karnataka, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Himachal Pradesh and Tripura – and have been classified as “medium performers”.
“Water Index scores vary widely across states, but most states have achieved a score below 50 percent and could significantly improve their water resource management practices,” the report said.
Because of such serious water problems, Hundreds of thousands of residents wait in ques each day to fill their pots at government water tankers, and critical services like hospitals and schools are struggling. People are forced to wash utensils in the same dirty water, saving a few bottles of clean water to cook food.
The sources of fresh water like urban lakes and inlets are being lost to encroachment and environmental degradation, which implies that cities, in general, don’t have places to store usable rainwater. They also have limited water conservation infrastructure — rainwater harvesting systems, water reuse and recycling, and wastewater treatment.
Taps have long run dry in cities like Bangalore and Hyderabad, meaning millions of people must rely on emergency government tanks for water. Tanker mafias have even emerged, ruling who gets water and for what price.
India has five years to change the continuing problem of Water Crisis, experts say — it has to act now if it wants to limit the damage of an inescapable crisis.
Would like to end this by saying, save water, save life!