Water Scarcity: Why Is It not Declared a National Crisis Yet?

Recently Shimla has been hit hard by the water crisis. Delhi often falls prey to the same problem. Soon water crisis would be a national crisis. Where are our policymakers hiding?

Water Scarcity: Why Is It not Declared a National Crisis Yet?

Recently, the water crisis has hit Shimla hard in the peak season. The city is without drinking water for last seventh consecutive days. The mall road of Shimla changed frequently from tourists to long queues of local residents with bucket and utensils for water since daybreak. The locals of Shimla protested, raised slogans at late night in front of chief minister’s residence. Clashes with police and blockage of Shimla Kalka road also reported. The Chief Minister of Shimla, Jai Ram Thakur described the crisis as “really, really bad”.

Educational institutions, private and government hostels, hospitals have been badly hit. Due to lack of water, many hotels have shut down in Shimla’s peak tourist season. The daily requirement of water in Shimla is around 42 MLD(Million liters/Day), but supply fell to 22 MLD. Around 15000 – 20000 tourist visit the city every day. In this peak season, the scarcity of water is a big challenge for Shimla. Shimla is a tourist spot and state revenue largely depends on tourism. Due to lack of water, tourism and the economy affected adversely. The high court on 22 June 2018, gave the state government and Municipal Corporation 24 hours to explain the shortage of water in the city. Also on 29 June 2018, High Court directed Municipal Commissioner to stop of supply of water to VIP areas.

This instance of Shimla is the best example of the water crisis. The water scarcity involves the shortage of fresh-water and the core reason of water scarcity is both natural and man-made. Poor management of resources, lack of government regulation and man-made waste are the main factors of this issue. The problem of water scarcity is arising day by day in several states and cities of India. Some of the worst affected states are Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

According to 2015 survey of drought-affected regions in India, top 10 states affected area are Maharashtra, Odisha, Telangana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Chattisgarh. Apart from this, some other regions include Gujarat, West Bengal, Haryana, and Bihar.

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Water Crisis Affects National Capital (New Delhi) Intensely

The most deliberate issue for the Indian National Capital New Delhi is the shortage of water supply. Almost 90% of the city being categorized either as semi-critical or critical, as the level of groundwater continuously exhausting in last two decades. The central ground water board said the water level has been decreasing from 0.5 meters to 2 meters per day. A few days ago some protestors reached Delhi Jal Board headquarters, varunalaya at jhandewalan for demanding water in their local areas.

According to a senior Delhi Jal Board(DJB) officials, the water requirement of Delhi is 900 million gallons per day, but it is falling short by 50 MGD since 8 may 2018.  Three deaths reported in capital due to water war. Well, one question stuck in mind why there is water scarcity in Delhi or any other states or cities? There is no single reason for the water problem in Delhi. Due to population growth, the growth of slums in various localities, thousands of people who do not have proper water supply and sanitation service. Another factor is groundwater is consumed by people very rapidly. Deficit rainfall and warm climate are also some of the important factors of the shortage of water.

Some of the administrative factors which influence water problem in Delhi are – Delhi Jal Board  (DJB) who is responsible for water supply has not been able to execute or

arrange proper water supply in the capital. There were not pipe connections on various localities, they have to depend on tankers. The shortage of water is a permanent problem in Delhi. Delhi has to depend on neighboring states like Haryana, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh. The Delhi Jal Board always blamed for worst management and maintenance of infrastructure, due to this 52% water gets wasted because of leakage in pipelines. Water treatment and water disposable facilities, also poor sewage treatment cause the shortage of water as there is no proper execution for water reuse.

Another reason is if there is conflict protest in Delhi, police use water spray to control the violence not especially in Delhi region also in other areas. The distance is also a core reason, there are many areas which are not close to water access but consumption is very high like desert areas.

Solution To Eradicate Water Scarcity

The basic and most important solution to deal with water scarcity is to enlighten people how to conserve water and also encourage people to conserve water through rainwater harvesting. Also, encourage and guide to recycle water through small decentralized sewage treatment plants.

The government should make rainwater harvesting compulsory in households, corporate industry, apartments, individual houses, etc. The biggest problem is not getting water but managing water.

So every individual should have known how to manage water. Also, the government should take strict measures to managing water. There are many organizations like Charity: Water, Columbia water center, Water.org, Water Aid and many more are located all over the country for providing more clean water to areas that don’t have it. By donating funds and time as well as skills or ideas whichever can an individual afford will be a help to tackle this serious issue.