The water crisis in India and solutions to tackle the demand.

Water crisis in india

India has abundant freshwater resources in the form of groundwater, rivers, ponds, and average annual rainfall. But we, the Indian people, have no self-responsibility for the nation’s resources and are using water in the wrong way. So a water crisis is inevitable in a situation like this. In this article, I am going to share about the water crisis in India and solutions to tackle this thirst.

The water crisis in India:

India is about 17% of the world’s population and has only 2% of the available water resources to meet the needs of that population.

The water crisis in India.
The water crisis in India.

This is clearly stated in the report ‘Water index of India’ published by Niti Ayog, the think tank of India.

According to Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, water is the source of life.

In 2030, 80% of the fresh water available in India will be polluted and this% of water will never be suitable for biological consumption, says Nitty Ayog in his report.

21 Indian cities, including Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad, will discharge groundwater by 2020, affecting 100 million people.

About 40 per cent of India’s population will not have access to drinking water by 2030.

If mitigation measures are not implemented, India will face a loss of 6% of its gross domestic product (GDP) by 2050.

The Niti report said. With nearly 70 percent water pollution, India ranks 120th out of 122 countries in the world water quality index

Believe it or not, the city of Cherrapunji in northeastern India, the wettest place on earth, has been experiencing drought every winter for the past few years.

Southwestern Kerala was hit by catastrophic floods in 2018, but its wells soon dried up.

One can clearly see in the above statement that we, the people of India, have failed to save this precious resource because of our lack of self-responsibility. 

Water was mentioned as the mother who gave birth all over the world

Rig Veda.

Yes, due to the lack of self-responsibility In the resources of the country, most of us think that the job of storing fresh water is not ours and we leave this responsibility to the governments.  We, the people, are only talking about the water crisis and not taking any action to save it.

More than 6 crore people are forced to drink flouride water. One lakh people die every year due to lack of proper drinking water.

If the bee disappears from the face of the earth, man will have only four years to live.

Albert Einstein

About 4 trillion cubic meters of water comes from the rain in our country every year. About 75-90% of this water flows into the sea through rivers.

About 325 rivers in India are poisonous, according to a study. In Uttar Pradesh alone, more than 15 rivers have dried up.

Rivers are dried - water crisis in india.
Agricultural lands are almost dired due to water scarcity.

India has only 4 percent of the usable water resources of 18 percent of the world’s population.

Official data over the past decade show how the annual per capita water availability in the country has dropped significantly, with 163 million Indians without access to safe drinking water.

India needs a revolution in water production technologies, efficient water supply, and management systems, comprehensive and efficient water recycling schemes and infrastructure, effective and implemented pollution controls, comprehensive reform of agricultural practices, effective implementation of water laws and regulations, and complete elimination of bad traditional sanitation standards ( Or its deficiency) and every Indian recognizes is not someone else’s problem.

In ancient times, the goddess was worshiped for rain. God is nothing but different forces of nature.

Causes for water crisis in India:

The main reason for the water crisis in India is the people.

Digging borewells:

We find that digging borewells has become commonplace, and once a borehole dries, new ones are dug.

This habit is detrimental to the natural water available in the region. A new borewell may cause the surrounding borewells to dry out.

The new borewells are putting pressure on the existing groundwater supply and some states in India like Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are facing severe water scarcity as the groundwater table is slowly but steadily disappearing.

Digging borewells dried the nearby wells.
Digging borewells dried the nearby wells.

Changes in monsoon:

India receives most of its water supply during the two to three months of the monsoon season.

Unpredictability in monsoon - major cause of water crisis in india.
Unpredictability in monsoon – major cause of water scarcity in india.

Due to its unpredictability, we did not get the amount of rain we expected.

The Indian monsoon is highly unpredictable and depends on various natural phenomena such as El Nino, La Nina, Easterly Jet Streams, ITCZ.

And in the days when global warming and climate change are wreaking havoc with global weather patterns, it is highly unrealistic to rely entirely on monsoons and most importantly monsoons because it is now done by the majority of farmers in India.

Foreign companies (Developing industries):

It is our Indian policy to invite every foreign entrepreneur to use groundwater to produce their products without paying for the water they use.

for example, Coca-cola uses groundwater for free, but they sell 1 liter of Kinley for Rs.20, and they export coke worldwide, with some job opportunities available to India in return. Accordingly, Pepsi, Unilever, P&G, Hyundai, Kia, Honda each use groundwater to produce their products, and perhaps they export worldwide.

It takes about 120,000 gallons (4,56,000 liters) of water to produce a small car.

Problem in water distribution:

India is a geographically different country.  India covers areas prone to frequent droughts to the west and south to the east, which sees catastrophic floods.  These parts are as different as cheese from chalk. The worst water crisis often leads to conflicts between the worst states.

Use of groundwater for agriculture:

India is the largest user of groundwater in the world with an area of 251 cubic kilometers per year. 

In contrast, China and the United States, next on the list, use about 112 cubic kilometers per year.  This wide gap shows the extent of over-exploitation of groundwater in India.

Excessive use of groundwater for agriculture has also led to a stagnation in resources. Since India is also one of the best agricultural producers in the world, water consumption for land and crops is one of the highest.

Some of the reasons for the water shortage are the results of the widespread use of traditional techniques used for pruned irrigation with mismanagement.

Unscientific water uses to increase crop intensity, ignoring water availability and growing unsuitable crops, and the use of modern fertilizers for water-intensive crops can lead to waterlogging and alkalization of the soil. 

This degradation of the soil greatly inhibits the ability of the soil to retain water.  Improper crop practices such as paddy cultivation in North West Punjab and Haryana are prime examples of this type of water wastage.

Wasting rainwater:

We know to waste water, but we rarely save it.  We know how to cut down trees, but we don’t plant it. 

We blame our ancestors when there were no trees on the roads, but we occasionally plant trees. 

We give natural fountain and groundwater to the producers, but with an investment of Rs 3000 crore we are going after desalination plants to process seawater for drinking water.

We are interested in real estate development by destroying lakes and ponds.

Our country does not strictly follow rainwater harvesting system.Very few states have implemented this.

Even if it rains heavily, the water drains and it goes into the sea.

Water pollution:

Increasing levels of solid waste in water systems such as lakes and rivers pollute water. To combat this problem, the government released the Ganga Action Plan in 1984 to clean up the river.

Water pollution.
Water pollution.

However, much of the river is polluted with a high coliform count at many places. This is often due to a lack of maintenance of facilities and inadequate payment for service.

With the difficulty of surface water, the country also faces great pressure with freshwater.

The amount of available fresh water is declining due to the lack of strict state regulation on groundwater development. Ignorance and continued neglect from the bureaucratic powers have exacerbated the problem.

Most of the freshwater enters the aquifer as government intervention and continuous industrial effluents accumulate in major rivers.

The approximate rating of untreated water within water sources such as rivers and lakes is 90 percent, which further exacerbates the problem.

Urbanization:

Unplanned residential and industrial areas are a major cause of wastewater management depletion in urban areas. Eutrophication of lakes leads to numerous lakes becoming unfit for public use.

Frothing cases in Bellandur and Vardhur lakes in Bangalore are a prime example. Occupying lakes for infrastructure projects does not help to improve the already dark environment.

Other causes of the water crisis in India:

  • We take river soil and export it to other countries for construction purposes. The water could not be stored once the river bed was removed. Although we do not have enough soil, we are proud to send soil to other countries.
  • Freshwater is polluted by mixing drains in lakes and rivers. We at least don’t care to conserve water, we mix chemicals after washing leather and clothes. We do not value water, perhaps we do not know the value of virtual water.
  • Massive afforestation.
  • During the reign of the Kings, many temple tanks, pools, and reservoirs were built to save water. They know water management better than modern graduates of high universities. Those rulers knew that there was no life on earth without water.
  • Innovative methods to reduce non-revenue water loss.
  • They took care of their common and other creatures. Modern investors know that there is no commission without allowing foreign investors. They allow corporates to take water, soil, mountains, etc., and our politicians approve of taking crores as commission.
  • Allows catastrophic technology to extract hydrocarbon (methane) gas from the earth.
  • Techniques include the removal of groundwater from the ground below 10,000 feet and the use of hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas.
  • With this technology a hydrocarbon well can discharge groundwater within a radius of 5 km.
  • There are about 20 extraction wells in each of the following states. Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu (341 wells proposed), Haryana, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Gujarat.
  • Private companies extract natural gas and export it to other countries by sea (Sagar Mala). Almost all the states in India will face irreparable damage in its groundwater. Perhaps we call earthquakes by hydraulic fracturing.
  • Innovative, multi-layer water protection systems, early warning systems and other technologies.

Effect of water scarcity on cities:

In 2016, the city of Latur faced severe water shortages. Much of the agricultural industry was shut down, creating both food insecurity and mass unemployment.

The local economy and agricultural areas have almost collapsed due to citizens having no choice but to use polluted water.

Effect of water scarcity on animals:

Severe water scarcity in the forests of Madurai and Dindigul districts of Tamil Nadu has led to the death of Indian gaurs found in the forests of the region as they fall into wells and die in search of water.

Effect of water scarcity on animals.
Effect water pollution.

Solutions to tackle the water crisis in India:

However it was not too late to turn the corner.  Being a barren land Israel bears the flag for efficient and most importantly intelligent water use.

  • Development of new crop strains that yield 10 times higher yields with the same amount of water.
  • Use of smart micro irrigation techniques such as drip and sprinkler irrigation.
  • Controls of algae blooms in reservoirs for reused water.
  • Ensure empowered community management of water resources, which will enable equal distribution of water resources among all stakeholders, especially tail end users.
  • The river merging, though controversial, should be taken seriously. Feasibility studies should be carried out.
  • Desalination should not be overlooked by an expensive option. Drinking water supply can be provided in areas with severe water scarcity.
  • However the best method is very simple, rain water collection.
  • Roof harvesters, ponds and storm water ditches should be constructed to raise the groundwater level.
  • Bangalore has made great strides in this direction by enacting legislation to create commercial structures for the compulsory use of rainwater harvesting.
  • Bio remediation of polluted lakes and wastewater treatment for urban effluent discharge. Urban planning is integrated with water management.

Rain water harvesting:

Each roof should have a rainwater harvesting system so that part of the rainwater can be used for household chores and the rest can be sent to the depths of the earth to recharge the water table.

Farmers should use government subsidies to harvest rainwater for agricultural purposes. (Agriculture uses 70% of the world’s freshwater withdrawal). So using rainwater in the right way can save 60-70% of fresh water.

Groundwater recharge structures of the house should be constructed.  The groundwater level in Bangalore increased when the groundwater recharge structure forced the newly built house. 

Therefore, we as a citizen should not wait for governments to build and construct such structures.  We have to be a little bit responsible and build such structures.

This point is new but it is largely consistent.  Use rainwater to produce non-vegetarian protein.

Fish Farming Using Rainwater,Use rainwater to grow vegetarian protein like mushrooms and Use harvested and filtered water on the poultry farm.

Initiatives by government of India and communities:

With the support of the government and UNICEF, villagers have set up a 1,435-hectare irrigation project in Palve Budruk, located in the drought-hit Barner Block in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra – where more than 80% of the land is available.

Initiatives by government of India and communities for water crisis in India.

The system consists of three check dams, 20 canal bundles, two small percolation tanks connected to the main tank and 19 village ponds. The water stored in the percolation tank is strictly for domestic use only.

Tap water is provided for an hour in the morning, during which families fill up with water for drinking and cooking.

SIS Seoul International School is a fundraiser for bringing water to India, which is also found in South Korea or Korea. They are beginning to create a strong community for water crisis in India.

The Central Groundwater Authority has declared 82 lands (districts, constituencies, zones, talukas, municipalities) to control groundwater resource development.

In these areas, it is not permitted to install new groundwater abstraction structures without the prior approval of the Authority / Authorized Officer. Further, plans for setting up / expanding groundwater based industries, including bottled water production units, are forwarded to the CGWA by the State Pollution Control Boards and the Standards Bureau of India for requesting any Certificate of Objection (NOC) for groundwater withdrawal.

NOC has not been issued to industries including bottled water production units declared by the Authority.

In undeclared areas, the NOC is provided with mandatory preconditions for adoption of rainwater system, monitoring of groundwater abstraction and monitoring of groundwater level and quality by industry. In order to enforce the regulatory provisions issued under Section 5 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, the concerned Deputy Commissioners / District Collectors are empowered to take necessary action in case of violation of the CGWA’s orders in the notified areas.

In order to enforce the regulatory provisions issued under Section 5 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, the concerned Deputy Commissioners / District Collectors are empowered to take necessary action in case of violation of the CGWA’s orders in the notified areas.

A drop of water is worth more than a sack of gold to a thirsty man

Basic solutions to overcome the water crisis in india:

1. Plant more trees, use less paper and protect the forest – Restoring and preserving the forest today is a step to help prevent tomorrow’s water crisis.

2. Increased Corporate Privatization and Reduction of Industrialization – To reduce dependence on a single city, the state and federal governments should stop licensing the construction of technology parks, businesses, etc. in metropolitan cities, and focus on developing other parts of the city.

3. Use public transport instead of private: Rapid growth in urban India has increased the number of vehicles.

4. Reducing the construction of buildings and apartments – one of the measures to combat the growing water shortage in India.

5. Protect natural renewable freshwater resources.

6. Control of Population

The real question is for ordinary Indians. Will you be part of a new way of doing things that are slowly being implemented? Do you encourage your leaders to be real at every level? Will you show by your word, deed, vote and rupee that you want a supply of drinking water for your older children?