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  • Water Conservation: A Mindful Method to Tackle Water Crisis in India

    A Mindful Method to Tackle Water Crisis in India

    In a world, where population is increasing day by day, there is an urgent need to save natural resources for the betterment of the future generations. Out of all the natural resources, water constitutes seventy percent of the earth's surface making it a significant component for the human survival. But, the irony of the situation is that even after being aware of the importance of water, the mankind is still recklessly wasting away this natural resource in an unrestrained manner. Reading the quote of the famous philosopher Benjamin Franklin, "When the well's dry, we know the worth of water", it is clear that the people will only know the true worth of water when a drastic situation of drought or shortage of water supply will come up.

    Water conservation has become a topic of debate in every newsroom, seminars, school and college debates, and even at public gatherings. Slogans like "EVERY DROP COUNTS" & "JAL HI JEEVAN HAI" are getting highlighted on the posters and environmental activists are leaving no stones unturned in making people aware of the consequences if this situation is left unchecked by the government. But, is it only the government which is to be blamed for this alarming situation or the citizens too have some responsibility towards their planet? Is it just the humans who need water for survival? Unfortunately, water scarcity has caused distressful effects on the wildlife and natural vegetation to a greater extent.

    Currently, India stands at the 120th position in the water quality index in the list of 122 countries all over the world. About 600 million people are subjected to the distressful consequences of extreme water scarcity. According to the study of the World Bank, the situation of water scarcity can severely affect long-term economic growth prospects of the country. India may have to bear the burden of six percent of its Gross Domestic Product by 2050 if it continues to waste away water resources. The major impact will be witnessed in the sectors of health, agriculture, income and property.

    Water Pollution: Is the Meaning of Economic Growth Misunderstood?
    Though India has become successful in becoming 3rd largest groundwater exporter of the world, but is it capable of meeting the groundwater requirements of its own citizens efficiently? There are still some issue which needs to be tackled at the grass root level like water pollution. The flowing of chemicals in the water bodies and leaving the taps open are ways of polluting water as in both the cases, water cannot be used again for any other useful purposes. The situation is critical and needs urgent monitoring as water pollution is taking a toll on not just human, but animal life as well.

    Climate Changes - Making situation worse...
    The severe changes in the climatic conditions like delayed monsoons or no monsoons causing droughts and sometimes extreme flood situation is contributing to water crisis in the country. The unpredictability of the sudden shifts in the climate patterns is making the task of water conservation an even difficult one. This has created a burden on the ground water consumption for farming as well as other purposes.

    Chennai – Indian City Facing Wrath of Acute Water Shortage

    The city of Chennai has been facing a tough time with the shortage of groundwater supply. As per the 2011 Census, the city received only 55 litres per capita per day (lpcpd) as household water supply in comparison to the 135 lpcpd which was estimated by the Ministry of Urban Development Benchmark. But, this short supply of water did not hamper the activities of urban and industrial expansion and real estate growth. Even after this looming crisis, the municipal corporation continued to expand its boundaries for urbanisation from 426 to 1,189 square kilometres till date. Moreover, the current disturbances in the climatic conditions have made the Chembarambakkam Lake in the city bone dry.

    The clouds of this critical situation of zero groundwater is hovering over other Indian cities such New Delhi, Ghaziabad, Mohali, Yamuna Nagar, Jalandhar, Amritsar, Patiala, Gurugram, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Jaipur, Agra, Ratlam, Indore, Gandhinagar, Ajmer, Bikaner, Ludhiana, Hyderabad, Vellore, and Bengaluru.

    What is the need of water conservation?

    • - Lack of safe drinking water with 2.1 billion population
    • - Death of 700+ children less than 5 years of age due to diarrhoea all over the country
    • - Primary schools have no supply of safe drinking water
    • - More than 800 women die on a daily basis due to the complications in pregnancy and childbirth.
    • - Over 700 million people located worldwide will be displaced due to water scarcity by 2030.

    Initiatives Taken for Water Conservation

    • - Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA): It will assist the government in improving the groundwater harvesting and water storage mechanisms.
    • - Water Quality Standards by Central Consumer Protection Council: The council has sent proposals to the central government to set up mandatory FSSAI standards for the drinking water supplied through pipelines in rural and urban areas.
    • - Jal Shakti Abhiyan: This initiative of the government will cover 256 districts nationwide to deal with the aspects of rainwater harvesting, reuse of water and recharging of structures, renovation of traditional and other water bodies, watershed development, and intensive afforestation.
    • - Rise of 'Women Water Warriors': An initiative of the WADE Foundation, it is a team of 500 women from different fields who have come together to deal with various water-related issues from January 2020.
    • - VenAqua, A Water Meter: WeGoT, firm based in Chennai, come up with this water meter that will reduce 50% of the demand for water and the high precision sensors will keep a check on the water flow, pressure, and the quality of water.

    Useful Tips & Tricks for Water Conservation

    • - Do not leaves taps open when not in use.
    • - Never over-water the plants or lawns as the soil just needs to be wet for the growth of plants.
    • - Rainwater harvesting helps in storing water which can be used later on for other purposes.
    • - Always check for the leaks in the pipes in the bathrooms and toilets.
    • - Use only required amounts of water for taking baths.
    • - Water used in washing clothes can be used to wash terraces and balconies.
    • - Dishwasher is an ideal choice than hand washing.
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