Water Crisis is Looming Everywhere, Including Indian Cities!

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Water Crisis
  • Humanity has realized since times immemorial that water is a precious commodity without which it’s well-nigh impossible to sustain livelihood. Little wonder that every civilization established itself, thrived, and contributed immensely to the advancement of humanity when an abundance of water was available. Likewise, many renowned civilizations too perished when water scarcity started affecting a multitude of existence leading to migration. This phenomenon has been witnessed right through history and the same continues to this day. Our reliance on water can never change for life always sustains on this commodity alone. Such is the inalienable part of water in our existence that it cannot be thinkable to thrive in the absence of Mother Nature’s bounty.

Water-crisis

PC: airowater

  • What have we accomplished – the so-called advanced society basking in technological advancement – to ensure water is available? The unchecked growth, absence of visionary plans to store rainwater/increase groundwater tables/water harvesting/construct check dams/use treated water, and awareness to ensure water is not wasted leading to a crisis-like situation. Have we done enough to address these pressing issues? The unprecedented growth in urban centers has placed tremendous pressure on the limited availability of potable water leading to a crisis of sorts. Not even the capital of India New Delhi is spared as the residents are experiencing a double whammy of intense heat and water scarcity. It’s an extremely uncomfortable living right now over there.
  • As the country was reeling under the shock of witnessing the rising temperatures – parts of the capital recorded an unbelievable maximum temperature of 52.3 degrees Celsius – along with it came announcements of water rationing. Note that it’s the second major city, after Bengaluru, to simultaneously experience heatwave-like conditions and acute water shortage this summer. The scariest moment in urban India was Chennai’s Day Zero in June 2019, when the city’s four major water reservoirs dried up. We are very vulnerable to water crises. Yes, common to all urban water nightmares is that economic growth and consequent building expansion have outpaced the capacity of civic authorities. Private firms have stepped into the breach to support this growth.

Indian Cities!

PC: The Economic Times

  • But the downside is that they lack the scale to solve critical problems. India cannot escape the impact of climate change. Extended heatwaves are here to stay and water demand in urban areas will not reduce. Neither can some consequences of haphazard urban expansion, such as building over natural landscapes, be undone. To highlight, in 2022, the Karnataka govt told the state assembly that 40 lakes in Bengaluru had disappeared. Thus, recycling water has become imperative to lift the pressure on freshwater resources. Some states have now mandated industrial zones to use treated water. It’s a sensible policy as India is ranked the 13th most water-stressed in the world. Yes, judicious use of water is imperative too. All must contribute here.