As per United Nation Food & Agriculture Organization ( UNFAO-2011),irrigation and livestock segment use 91% of water withdrawal in India. About a third of the water withdrawal comes from underground water. Ground water level is depleting at a very fast rate due to its use in irrigation, industrialization, urbanization and along with rural and urban water supplies. Currently 54% of Indians suffers from water crisis .There is urgent need of sustainable and judicious use of water resources. We all know that water is essential for life .But we must know that it is not unlimited. Our fresh water resources are limited. Indian warm climate dry up lakes, river and water bodies’ .Indian population is making burden on the existing water resources. As per latest data, per capita availability of water in India has fallen from 6,042 cubic meters in 1947 to 1545 cubic meter in 2011, this could reduce further to 1341 cubic meter to 1140cubic meter by 2025 & 2050 respectively. India is the world largest user of ground water, which provides 80% of the county drinking water. About 84% of irrigation comes from ground water. United Nation world water report 2018 recommends nature based solution for water.
Huge deprivation in access to water is a silent crisis, which is mainly experienced by the poor 7 middle class family. It also raises the inequality between rich and poor to access the basic need. There is tremendous inequality in access to clean safe drinking & sanitation at a household level. Overcoming the crisis in water & sanitation is one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century. As Mahatma Gandhi Says “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed”.
Water Mafia: There is huge shortage of water in urban slums connecting with NCR belt (National capital region) Water in unauthorized colonies and urban slums are regulated by water mafia. Turnover of water mafia is kept on rising by supplying water to people at inexorable price. They sell water through water vendor and tanker. I guess government is fully aware about their business .Instead of controlling and stopping them, they are encouraging water mafia to run their business peacefully. Stopping of water mafia will save wastage of water and save us from water crisis.
Water Facts in India
- Underground water table are falling
- In equality in irrigation ,A wealthy farmer extract more water & access to more water than small & marginal farmers .This widen the gap between wealthy farmer & poor farmers .Which results in huge gap in crop production and income generated through agriculture .
- Caste rules that govern access to water now weakened, but we still hear the news of upper caste domination on water & water bodies.
- India is facing a fresh water crisis. India has just 4% of the world’s fresh water — but 16% of the global population.
- Half of India’s water supply in rural areas, where 70% of the country’s population lives, is routinely contaminated with toxic bacteria.
- Every year, about 600,000 Indian children die of diarrhea or pneumonia, often caused by toxic water or poor hygiene.
- India spends more on Military budget than on water & sanitation.
- With rapid industrialization & urbanization ,underground water table is falling .Situation is even more worse in metro cities ,Like Delhi,Gurgaon & Noida .Report shows that there are presence of arsenic ,mercury & fluoride content in the underground water table.
- More than 60 -70% of India is vulnerable to drought & 1/3 of the country’s district have faced more than four drought in the past decade .Drought prone areas increased by 57% since 1997.
- There are about 5 million springs across India, nearly 3million in the Himalayas region alone. Which are facing threat of drying up due to increase in water demand?
Let’s go back to Ancient Indian Water Conservation Techniques.
We can save India from falling into water crisis ,by just adopting our ancient traditional techniques .Which are less expensive than Modern techniques .Archaeological evidence shows that practice of water conservation is deep rooted in ancient India. Indus valley civilization has excellent system of drainage system & water harvesting. Ancient Indian kingdoms had one a lot of work on water harvesting. Some of the water conservation techniques are Bawari,Talab Jhalara ,Baoli etc. and adopt Micro –Irrigation practices ,More crops per drop .Drip & sprinkler irrigation system . Drip irrigation irrigates the root zone of the crop not the whole surface.
Over half of the world will face water scarcity .27% of the global population or 1.9billion people live in potential severely water scarce areas .About 73% of the affected people live in Asia.
Many NGO are working hard to protect the environment and save water program .HEEALS NGO from last eight years has been creating awareness workshop program regarding water ,hygiene ,sanitation, safe drinking water and judicious use of water in schools and communities and encouraging children and communities to adopt clean water ,sanitation ,hygiene and save water practices .They are creating awareness workshop on water and water conservation ,rain water harvesting ,not polluting the water ,river and water bodies ,Do not put waste materials into rivers , prevent leakage of water from tapes & pipes ,Creating awareness in residential areas to check over flow of water from tanks ,Use only safe drinking water at school and workplaces ,Do not litter around school & toilet ,Use dustbin in school and community places , Avoid wastage of water while washing clothes & cleaning utensils and Use of waste R.O Water for cleaning & gardening .They are organizing water workshop in schools ,villages and communities area and time to time organized drawing competition in school related to save water ,hygiene and sanitation .
“SAVE WATER SAVE INDIA”
Source : UN world water report (Facts)
-Ministry Of Rural Development India
Picture : HEEALS