Growing water scarcity in the country: Analysis
Author: Siddhi Sanjay Kadam
Water which is the most important source of livelihood on which one of the major occupations of our country depends is also home to many species of plants as well as animals. This valuable ingredient of nature was the reason which boosts the agricultural sector and led to the immense demand for the production of different crops which increased the interests of foreign traders in the Indian production market. But eventually, water quality, quantity, and purity were decreased and it became scarce. The first reason that is causing water stress around the country is due to globalization, growth in the human population, and the second reason is the uneven concentration of the global population.
Water scarcity problems are faced not only by people belonging to the rural area but also people of the urban area too. Although India made an effort to make available the quality of Municipal drinking water systems the rural areas are left out due to the increase in the urban population which has exhausted the government solution of making all the people available of water.
Causes of water scarcity:
1. India today has lacked overall long-term availability of replenishable water resources. An increase in population with an excess of water for consumption for food production depletes the overall water table leading to water scarcity.
2. Water pollution is also a major problem that has not only reduced the quantity of water but also paved way for many bacteria which result in a disastrous change in the quality of water. The industries which discharge their waste in river contains a high amount of toxic chemicals which includes biochemical waste, molten waste which degrades the quality of water making it unable to drink.
3. Lack of measures taken by the public to preserve the water reservoir and using it for other purposes when its strictly should be used for drinking purpose which includes dumping waste in water, defecating, bathing, etc. As a result of which the water turns impure which results in man-made water pollution.
4. Global warming is also one of the reasons for water scarcity.
5. Natural calamities like drought are one of the most dreadful things wherein the guarantee of drinking water is hardly seen. This completely dries up the land which also deprives the source of groundwater. As a result of which people have to travel miles to collect water from another place.
Current status of water scarcity in our country:
Due to global warming uneven rainfall and drought are found in any region of our country. Recently a report of the NITI government states that the North East region receives about 1000cm and Western Rajasthan gets less than 10cm of annual precipitation. About 53.3 percent of total precipitation is lost due to evapotranspiration which leaves a balance of 1869BCM water in our country. Thus the utilizable water potential of the country is estimated to be 1123 BCM of groundwater. However, the annual rainfall varies considerably from one region of the country to another.
Government efforts in curbing water scarcity:
The Ministry of Jal Shakti which responsible for maintenance, development for efficient use of water resources in the country also provides for water sanitation programmes for rural areas. The Ministry was created in 2019 under the second Modi ministry. In order to improve the performance of efficient management of water resources and enabling them to implement better strategies for management of water resources NITI Aayog has developed a Composite Water Management Index a useful tool which helps to assess the performance of efficient management of water.
The index would provide useful information for the States and also for the concerned Central Ministries enabling them to formulate and implement suitable strategies for better management of water resources. The Index is considered to have a set of 28 Key Performance Indicators covering the irrigations status, drinking water, and other water-related sectors. Critical areas of irrigation, watershed development, on-farm water practices, rural drinking water have been accorded high priority. The Index is an important tool that helps to solve the problems related to water resources and help to solve the problem of water scarcity. The National Water Mission aims at conserving water, minimizing wastage, and ensuring more equitable distribution through integrated water resource management.
The Water Mission will develop a framework to increase the water use efficiency by 20%. It also calls for a strategy to tackle variability in rainfall and river enhancing surface and underground water storage, rainwater harvesting, and improved irrigation system.
Today water scarcity is the most immense problem in our country some privileged sections of society enjoy 24 hours usage of water which does not make them realize the value of using water. While in some unprivileged sections of society especially in rural areas people have to still walk miles for water which makes them realize the worth of water. Still, lots of people in rural areas don’t have proper drinking facilities but due to water scarcity, a single drop of water for them is his blessing. This impure water then hasan adverse effect on the body. Well though the government claims to set up proper water management facilities introduce schemes for pure drinking water how much of it really is put in force? Also how many villages are actually aware of such developments and how many of them have actual avail the benefit of the same is still an unanswered question.
Edited by: Rangarajan R, Additional Editor in Chief, Lawgic Stratum.