Is India facing Water Shortage?




India stands just after China on the population index, accounting for 18 % of the global population. The population would not be the first issue at hand if we had 18% of the entire world area. But, here we are, with just 2.4% of the global land, inhabiting 1.3 billion peoples under our umbrella. This density itself is the root cause in every conceivable threat, be it food crisis, unemployment, poverty, lack of proper sanitation, or water crisis. And this summer season, the trending amidst this is the water crisis we are trying to cope up with and by trending I really mean that it has turned around many heads, which you'll see as you move on.

Since India is so densely populated and as the population is ever rising, the water consumption is skyrocketing every year for a range of reasons.

1. Agriculture

India is one of the largest suppliers of wheat and other agricultural products. 80% of the water in India is utilised in the cultivation and the majority of the farmers rely upon groundwater. You would be amazed to know that only 35% of the extracted groundwater is put to use because our farmers still use(government maybe?) the age-old irrigation techniques like flood irrigation which doesn't ensure absolute utilization of the scarce water. 
The rainfalls have become more uneven in the past years, resulting in the birth of more drought-hit areas. Rainfall is the only source to replenish groundwater, but due to the late arrival of monsoon and scarce rainfall, the groundwater is levelling down, day by day.

2. Industries

India is a developing nation, so we are currently witnessing a boom in the setup of new industries. This resulted in massive unplanned and unwise usage of resources across the country, water is one of them. Just like the agricultural sector, industries rely upon groundwater as their primary source and this further adds up to groundwater exhaustion. Due to these reasons, various soft drinks industries have been shut down as well in many states.

3. Household Usages/Wastages & RO purifiers

The rest of the remaining water is consumed by the common people while carrying out their daily activities. Cities including Kolkata & Bangalore waste up to 50% of the water they receive, leaving a dark scar on the water bodies. RO purifiers offer a dominant portion in wasting water and they are used all over India, even after the government has proposed to use it solely in areas where the TDS is greater than 500 because to purify one litre of water, RO pumps out four litres of water into the drain.

Aforementioned reasons account for the water crisis we are going through and if we don't alter our habits promptly then many cities, towns, and villages will be rigorously hit by drought. Recently, Indian Scientists foretold that Delhi and 21 other cities will run out of groundwater by 2020. Now, you don't need to travel to Rajasthan or Gujarat to see the impact of a drought, you can undoubtedly locate it in states like U.P., Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, etc.

The case of Chennai

Chennai is one of the cities facing an extreme water crisis. Actor and environmentalist, Leonardo DiCaprio shared a post regarding the same on Instagram, saying, "Only rain can save Chennai from this situation." A well completely empty, and a city without water. The southern Indian city of Chennai is in crisis after the four main water reservoirs ran completely dry. The acute water shortage has forced the city to scramble for urgent solutions and residents have to stand in line for hours to get water from government tanks. As the water levels depleted, hotels and restaurants started to shut down temporarily, and the air con was turned off in the city's metro. Officials in the city continue to try and find alternative sources of water - but the community continue to pray for rain. 

Need for Change

If the current scenario is not changed soon, then we will be as hopeless as a country defeated in war. Our economy will be pushed backwards, leaving deep cuts on our fate. 21% of the communicable disease channel down through the water and nearly 500 kids younger than five die from diarrhoea every 24 hours as per recent studies, this figure will keep escalating if the condition isn't handled adequately. Moreover, the agricultural sector employs 600 million Indians, guess what will happen to them when the wells fail to suck out more water? 

Solutions to Water Crisis

It would not be wise to say that India receives less rainfall or the availability of water is low in India because it's common to see one town fully submerged in water while in some other it would be difficult for the free birds to quench their thirst. Majority of the water crisis in India could be brought to halt by improving the water usage techniques.
  • 60% of the water received from rainfall, makes its way back to the sea. Proper rainwater harvesting system should be deployed in individual houses & an act should be legislated to make it necessary to have a rainwater harvesting system at the homes in drought-prone areas.
  • Our country still fails to treat the water discharged by households and most of it is released into open dump yards or into rivers. With the aid of water treatment plants, we would surely be one step ahead.
  • Industries discharge their waste products undeviatingly into rivers, which definitely affects not only the aquatic life but the people residing near the banks as well. These ill-practices need to be banned across the nation.
  • Agriculture is an important sector in our economy as it contributes to 17% of our country's GDP and employs 60% of the population, so there's no reason to stop it manually, but we still need to resolve the water quandary. The only solution left is to improve the irrigation techniques, by using new cutting-edge technologies like drip irrigation and plastic mulching. 
Conclusion

A few years back I remember writing an article on water shortage and I'm sure you have written it, once in your past. I guess we all used to embrace this line, "if we don't pay attention to it now then we will run out of the water at some point of time in the future". I'm sure it sounded so cliché back then that we didn't bother paying attention to what it really means. But see, where we are standing now? 163 million of our citizens don't have access to clean water and more are added to it every single second. It's high time we replace that leaking tap, as every drop counts and once we will run out of the water, we are going to miss that drop.

- Sachin


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Is India facing Water Shortage? Is India facing Water Shortage? Reviewed by EMN on July 08, 2019 Rating: 5

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