Water Crisis In India
About half of the India today is facing water shortage with majority of states going through the zero day. But who cares? Do you? I doubt that. We waste water like it’s a surplus resource, we exploit water like its readily available and we don’t care, mostly because it’s not our work to do. Right? You wake up in the morning take shower, brush your teeth, clean your house and cook your food- if calculated right on an average, it would take almost 200 liter of water. But much to your surprise, you spend more than 300 liter of water that means almost 150 liter of water is wasted just passed few hours. So imagine how much one waste in 24 hours? If you open the tap while brushing teeth- you waste around 4-5 liter of water which is enough to cook your food. On the other hand you waste 50-60 liter of water while bathing whereas if you use a bucket for the same, you can bath in only 20 liter of water. And then we say we really care about the water crisis, I have seen people talking about using minimum of water and I have seen the similar people wasting liters without batting an eye. The problem is not that we don’t care, the problem is that we don’t act. A report suggest that, nearly 600 million Indians are facing high-to-extreme water stress, where more than 40 percent of the annually available surface water is used every year and about 200,000 people are dying every year due to inadequate access to safe water. 21 Indian cities including Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad – will run out of groundwater by 2020, affecting 100 million people! 40 percent of India’s population will have no access to drinking water by 2030, the report said.
And there you really talk about water crisis? It’s not a crisis anymore- it’s a catastrophe the whole world is facing together.
Why there is a shortage? Well, India mostly use groundwater to meet the basic water needs, but on a level that it has become the biggest ground water user. It extracts more water than US and China the next biggest users combined! Most of this water is used for irrigation and the remaining are left for the household usage. Overall, 50 per cent of urban water requirement and 85 per cent of rural domestic water need are fulfilled by groundwater- this is just an overall estimation. Whereas in reality, an urban household has supply of 40 liter of water per day and the rural has only 16-18 liter per day through the pipelines- there is mismatch in the supply of water within the country. Apart from these reasons, we now don’t receive the same monsoon like before. Cities like Chennai, Delhi and many more receive less rainfall and a shortfall in monsoon rains has narrowed to 37% of the long-term average against 44%. That means we receive less rainfall than before and where there is less rainfall, the less the groundwater and more the water shortage. Now, you would argue that these are not your faults so why are you the one to be blamed? Well, you know why we receive less rainfall? Because we cut down the trees, we turned fertile soil into barren lands. We destroyed forest to build shopping complex and we invited global warming. We left no room for rain water storage as well, there are almost no ponds, less lakes and few households with rain water storage system. So even if we receive 4,000 billion cubic of rain, we don’t even capture 8% of it. And this “WE” belongs to everyone reading or not reading this post. Reliability in water system is a huge challenge and has been from last three decades. Around 10 billion dollars are spend on water systems world-wide and sadly, half of these water systems are failing which means that the 5 billion dollars goes to waste bin annually. People with water shortage walks hours to collect water from the single source every day and most of the time this water is dirty. Approximately 2 billion children die each year by ill-water related diseases and 100 million children drop out from school to help collect water worldwide. In several parts of India, men perform polygamy just to have women to fetch water from the far away sources and thus these women are termed as ‘water wives’. So the water crises doesn’t only include water shortage but actually tons of different issues. You need to understand that it’s a complete loop where one issue leads to another.
Now you would ask what you can do. There are certainly an ocean of solution to this problem which only needs a little determination and concern of us. We seems to invest more in cars and shoes and less in water storage. By building rain water storage system on our roofs we can collect enough amount of water sufficient for our daily needs. We can learn the better irrigation system by Israel which is obviously not drip irrigation- what we can do is use recycled water in irrigation and save up to 89% of groundwater. Also the water systems too are not build in a way to serve the water needs. Water systems should be built in a way that people get access to clean plus convenient water in rural areas not only in India but across the globe. And apart from these the most basic thing we all can do is simple- Don’t Waste Water, switch to buckets from showers, close the taps while brushing and use only as much of water as needed. Our little contribution can actually make a lot of difference. We all know that water is life, and now is the time to expand its longevity- lend a helping hand and the world will remember you.