Water Scarcity in India
India has the second largest population in the world. According to the World Bank, India has taken significant steps to reduce poverty but the number of people who live in poverty is still highly disproportionate to the number of people who are middle-income, with a combined rate of over 52% of both rural and urban poor.
Although India has made improvements over the past decades to both the availability and quality of municipal drinking water systems, its large population has stressed planned water resources and rural areas are left out. In addition, rapid growth in India’s urban areas has stretched government solutions, which have been compromised by over-privatization.
Regardless of improvements to drinking water, many other water sources are contaminated with both bio and chemical pollutants, and over 21% of the country’s diseases are water-related. Furthermore, only 33% of the country has access to traditional sanitation.
One concern is that India may lack overall long-term availability of replenishable water resources. While India’s aquifers are currently associated with replenishing sources, the country is also a major grain producer with a great need for water to support the commodity. As with all countries with large agricultural output, excess water consumption for food production depletes the overall water table.
Many rural communities in India who are situated on the outskirts of urban sprawl also have little choice but to drill wells to access groundwater sources. However, any water system adds to the overall depletion of water. There is no easy answer for India which must tap into water sources for food and human sustenance, but India’s overall water availability is running dry.
India’s water crisis is often attributed to lack of government planning, increased corporate privatization, industrial and human waste and government corruption. In addition, water scarcity in India is expected to worsen as the overall population is expected to increase to 1.6 billion by year 2050. To that end, global water scarcity is expected to become a leading cause of national political conflict in the future, and the prognosis for India is no different.
On a positive note, some areas of India are fortunate to have a relatively wet climate, even in the most arid regions. However, with no rain catchment programs in place, most of the water is displaced or dried up instead of used. In these areas, rain harvesting could be one solution for water collection. Collected water can be immediately used for agriculture, and with improved filtration practices to reduce water-borne pathogens, also quickly available for human consumption.
Whatever the means, India needs solutions now. Children in 100 million homes in the country lack water, and one out of every two children are malnourished. Environmental justice needs to be restored to India so that families can raise their children with dignity, and providing water to communities is one such way to best ensure that chance.
Access To Clean Water Improves:
Education : When students are freed from gathering water, they return to class. With proper and safe latrines,girls stay in school through their teenage years.
Hunger : Access to water leads to food security.With less crop loss,hunger is reduced. Schools can feed students at reducing costs.
Health : Safe Water, Clean Hands, healthy bodies. Time lost to sickness is reduced and people can get back to the work of lifting themselves out of poverty.
Poverty : Access to water can break the cycle of poverty. The communities we serve are ready to grow.
- 783 MILLION (1 in 9) people DO NOT HAVE ACCESS TO CLEAN WATER and almost 2.5 billion(1 in 3) do not have access to adequate sanitation.
- Approximately 3.5 MILLION PEOPLE DIE EACH YEAR due to inadequate water supply, sanitation and hygiene.
- Access to sanitation, the practice of good hygiene and a safe water supply could save the lives of 1.5 MILLION CHILDREN A YEAR
As a part of India, #LUCKNOW has to have its own action plan for this larger issue of water scarcity and it should start from every home. Every person in the Family should take a oath to save atleast #1 LITRE WATER EVERY DAY from 3 of their basic needs – DRINKING, COOKING AND CLEANING as this may propel a big change in the society and help those millions of people who does have access to even 1 LITRE water in a day.
Green Globe Group has partnered with Lucknow Society to fight this challenge together and will aware the masses about Water Scarcity and actions to Save Water through its Campaign #SaveWaterSaveLife
Writer is the Founder of an NGO Green Globe Group which works on promoting awareness on topics like Climate Change,Global Warming & Water Scarcity.
(Published in The Lucknow Observer, Volume 1 Issue 12, Dated 05 March 2015)