India is experiencing a water crisis. Unfortunately, water management is completely neglected in our country. The rivers and aquifers are being hopelessly overexploited. There is hardly any river near an urban area that escapes the wrath of pollution from urban effluents and at the same time water levels are depleting day by day. The idea of water scarcity is absurd – there is scarcity amongst plenty. That is why water tanker supply water to towns even when their streets are flooded with water. The current crisis could have been avoided with better water management practices and not considering water as an unlimited resource. A people’s movement can help to deal with a lot of the water problems that face the country today. The civil society has to play a critical role in encouraging equity and sustainability in the use of water. Water must once again become everybody’s business.
Rain – The Ultimate Source of Water:
It is rain that nourishes and sustain all the water sources across the world except polar regions & high altitude of mountains. India is fortunate to receive 110 cm rainfall against 80 cm received by World.
Harvesting the Rain – Our Traditional Wisdom:
Our forefathers had developed marvelous systems to manage the rainwater available to them in a very effective manner. Unfortunately, over the last 300 years, due to historical reasons and changing social factors these systems became the culprit of disuse and neglect. This has resulted in devastating floods and droughts in various parts of the country.
Water Cycle in the “Good Old Days”:
The water required for home was received from a shallow well. The water used by kitchen and bathroom went to plants and that from toiled went to the soil below ground level after-treated in a septic tank. There was a beautiful cyclical movement of water.
Urbanisation and Water:
The infrastructure services to the Urban area have not grown correspondingly. That too on subsidized rates. Hence Water, Sewerage system and garbage are not valued adequately. Rather the purest water “Rainwater” is disposed of in drains and Expensive filtration systems are installed for fetching pure & clean water.
A present of Water Resource Management:
- Break of the cycle due to rapid modernisation of humanoid.
- Shallow wells are converted to deep tube wells - depleting water table. Increasing CO2 by using electricity.
- Septic tank & soakpits converted to central sewage treatment plants – water wastage & pollution.
- Polluted rivers and disappearing water bodies – depriving us from quality water
- Garden, open areas converted to paved area refraining to put water back into soil below – waterlogged areas.