A major water crisis in India is going to shake hands with us as early as 2021
(Disclaimer: This article is just my opinion and is not sponsored by anyone. I’m wrote what I thought would be right. May be some things in the article are wrong, if you feel so, just add a comment to correct it or ask me to remove it.)
Top 20 cities of India will run out of underground water by the year 2021. Not only this will affect more than 10 crore people but also shows us that more than 50% of country’s underground water level is declining at an alarming rate. The water crisis in India is going affect top metro cities like Delhi, Gurugram, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune and others in the first phase.
This is not a news or statistical article. I’m writing this to make sure you are aware of the problems as well as the solutions avoid water crisis in India.
According to NITI Ayog, more than 40% of Indian population will have no access to clean drinking water by 2030. And to make matter worse, by 2040, most of the Indian cities will run out of drinking water and our only supply will be the glacior fed rivers like Ganga, Yamuna, and Sutlej etc. Seasonal rivers like Cauvery, Krishna, and Godavari will go dry. Once this happen, the perenial rivers will be overtaxed and their water levels will fall. By a couple of decades, if no measures are taken, glaciers will be gone.
What follows this will be death and famine. And there will be no coming back from this. There won’t be drinking water let go of water for irrigation, washing, and bathing. People would kill others for a drop of water, like they show in the post apocalyptic movies. Just imagine, you are so thirsty and dehydrated that you desperately search for water and readily want to spend whatever you had for a bottle of water. In that case you won’t hesitate from drinking water from a tap.
Quite diresome isn’t it? so, what can be done?
First of all, we all need to stop wasting water in our daily routine. Reducing the wastage will reduce the pressure on our natural water resources. The ground level will not fall rapidly and will get time to recharge during rainy season, lake won’t dry up fast and will also get chance to replinesh during rains.
Another important thing which must be done, at government level, is that large unused or barren land should be dug out deep and wide so that they can be filled with rain water. You can call these dugouts, large rain water harvesters which can serve the purpose of fresh water supply. These man made lakes must be dug out in the outskirts of every city, large or small. Once this is done on a large scale (in almost every district), the ground water level will get recharge easily and we will still have surplus supply of fresh water all around the year.
A few of these man made lakes around metro cities will help solve the water crisis in that particular city as well as towns and villages around them. Water for irrigation purpose will be easily available. Even if these lakes cannot completely solve the water crisis, they will at least help push the doomsday for later.
The surrounding areas of these lakes can be made make shift jungles by planting few rows of trees. This will not only help keep water at bay but can also become a tourist destination. Building resorts and other entertainment and holiday facilities can increase the tourism of the region.
What about the rivers of the south?
Speaking about the southern rivers like Godavari, Krishna, Cauvery and all are seasonal in nature. They receive there water from the monsoon rains during June to September every year. At present, the water level in all these rivers are falling at an alarming rate. Cauvery doesn’t even reach the sea as it gets dries up before that. Governments of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu fight over its water but foresee no solution.
Why seasonal rivers are drying up? let me explain you first how seasonal river system works. These rivers were created very long ago (like thousands of years ago) due to heavy rains Indian subcontinent receives during monsoon. Water from all the high places accumulated via tributaries and discharged into a main river which discharged into the sea. Hence a seasonal river is created. But these rivers had water all year long. Why? because the forest around the basin of these rivers held the water and released it slowly over time.
In the last two decades, the forest cover is diminished and converted into agricultural land. With the forest gone, there is nothing in the soil to hold water in the ground. Rain water now happily flows away into the river which flows away rapidly before the arrival of next monsoon.
One can call it ‘tit for tat’ on a very large scale. Come on, who asked whom to cut the trees goddamnit. Idiots, everyone is idiot in this country. Know one knows what is good for anything. I’m sure there might be some forest officials who took the bribes to let trees be cut. In a bid to increase agriculture land, they cleared forest. Deal with it, now there is no water, enjoy. Instead strict actions must be taken against those who cut trees around the river basin or anywhere for that matter.
Can you do something or are looking for government to do something. Just remember that any government will start doing something when it is about to get loose from our grips. So, we have to stand up, NGOs need to stand up and start working for a better future not only for us but also for our coming generations.
There are many organisations which are working to revive the dried up rivers, please donate money if you cannot volunteer in the plans. There is still a chance to work and save our rivers and ecology. The water crisis in India can be avoided if we all stand up and fight back. But for that we need to work with honesty which is certainly not available in India. So the last resort for an individual is to not waste water.
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