Read this quote in my literature book during my school days but now it feels quite true. India has around 17% of the world’s population and just about 2% of the available water resources to satisfy the needs of that population. Water crises are therefore inevitable in such a situation. Living in a second most populated country in the world such problems are genuine.
The water crisis in India is going to cost a lot of money to the government and lives of people. I hope everyone remembers what had happened last year in Karnataka when Supreme Court ordered to share water with Tamil Nadu (Two dead in water riots in India's Silicon Valley).
This is just a beginning, eventually, riots like this will erupt in many parts of the country. India is really water stressed.
Year by year the problem is getting worse every year as monsoons fail to bring enough rain due to climate change and failed governments that can’t track the possibilities of climate change in the future. Judging by the climate change, Tamil Nadu will suffer due to worst water depletion in next ten years.
But we need to take some strict decision now to resolve the water-related which are surely going to happen after a decade.
Mainstream reasons for water scarcity?
Frequent changes in monsoon
India receives a bulk of its water supply in two to three months of its monsoon season. And in days where global warming and climate change are playing havoc with global weather patterns, it has become highly impossible to predict monsoon and more importantly it is highly foolish to depend entirely on monsoon as it is done right now by a majority of the farmers in India.
Non-uniform water distribution
India is a geographically diverse country. India includes frequently drought-prone regions in the western and southern parts of the eastern parts which witnesses devastating floods. These parts are as different as chalk from cheese. Interstate disputes are getting common due to water scarcity.
Unsustainable water use
Unscientific water uses to increase cropping intensity, growing unsuitable crops ignoring the water availability, and use of modern fertilizers for water-intensive crops has led to waterlogging, salinization and alkalization of soil. This degradation of soil greatly inhibits the water retention capacity of a soil. Unsuitable cropping habits like growing rice in North Western Punjab and Haryana are a prime example of this type of water wastage.
Among all the other Asian nation our country is one largest seeker of underground water in the world as our country is using around 251 cubic kilometers each year
In contrast, China and USA which are next on the list used about 112 cubic kilometers per year. This wide gap shows the extent of over-exploitation of underground water resources in India.
Unplanned urbanization: Unplanned residential and industrial areas with no regard to sewage management are a prime reason for depleting water reserves in urban areas.
What measures can be taken to solve it?
We need to freaking realize the problem first. We need to invest heavily in water and waste management in the course of next ten years.
Create elevated water canals to transport the water throughout the country like China does.
Use modern agricultural practices instead of our 1000 years old conventional methods. Our agriculture sector is the main and humongous consumer of water in our country.
There are almost no wastewater treatment schemes in India. Just see how Israel does it and invest. We can save a hell lot of water just by investing in this tech.
Build hell lot of massive desalination plants along the coast and provide water to the inner parts of the country.
Do not let the farmers rely on monsoon for agriculture.
Waving off the loans of the farmer is never going to solve the problems from its roots, so the government needs to find the core problems and the real state of mind of the farmer.
Stop the people and industries from polluting our water resources by imposing strict rules.
Want to stop water from evaporating? Inject it back to the ground, don’t use thermocouples. By doing so, we can avoid earthquakes caused by groundwater depletion.
Regain, renovate and keep the ponds & lakes ready to catch more water for the next monsoon.
Plant more trees and adapt to renewable energy ASAP.
"We never know the worth of water
till the well gets dry"