"jal hi jeevan hai” I am sure almost everybody out there have heard this slogan atleast once in their life.Not only this there are several other slogans on “ water conservation” that are heard and seen on televisions or hoardings nowadays. We keep on hearing and reading about the importance of water since our childhood but there are only few who really understands its importance and we realize it only when there is shortage of water in our country. Just like this year in 2019according to the composite water management index (CWMI) report released by Niti Aayog , 21 major cities (bengaluru, chennai, Hyderabad and others) are racing to reach zero groundwater levels by 2020,affecting access for 100 million people. The world water day, 22nd march is about tackling the water crisis but still we are at the verge of facing terrible “zero day” which implies for the countries that have run dry and Chennai becomes one of the first Indian cities to have faced such situation.
Still, It seems likes india isgiving more importance to infrastructure ,as the union government has formed a new ministry “ jal shakti “ in order to tackle the water issues in more effective way and has planned to lay huge water pipelines to every household in india by 2024. But the moot question over here is: what made india face this situation? And what will happen if there is no water left in future? Of course allthanks goes to our ineffective usuage of water, activities leading to wastage of water and also to the late arrival of monsoon.Its time for india to again go back to our traditional method of water conservation like rainwater harvesting, according to the reports india store only 80liters ofrainwater which is the lowest among other countries.
One thing is for sure that we need meticulous strategy to eradicate this problem, because many countries like Chennai is already suffering from severe drought issues, and experts says that delay of monsoon is not the only reason behind this . As Nitin Gadkari, the union minister pointed out that availability is not so much a problem as the mismanagement and lack of conservation of water. Its high time we realize the magnitude of the problem and start working on it as soon as possible. Niti Aayog has asked the cities to pave way for “ urgent and improved” management of water resources through “ competitive and cooperative federalism” . the suggestions include reliable and affordable water services.
Apart fromdehydration due to obvious lack of drinking water, hunger is also one of the most serious effect of water scarcity because almost half of the india populationis fully dependent on agriculture and irrigation and lack of water leads to deterioration of crops and livestock.Obviously government is not only responsible for prevention of such crisis. We too need to take proper steps to prevent it. Improving water management should be our priority as water conservation is key component of sustainable water management. Recycling wasteful water and reusing it atleast for potable uses also allows to reduce its scarcity. Addressing and monitoring the quality of water is also essential as without proper sanitation , water becomes unfit for drinking.
Hence, it is of utmost importance to understand the fact thatmanaging the water situation is not only the job of engineers, but all the people around the globe including economists, hydrologists and most importantly communities themselves. By keeping in check our own actions, we can contribute.