by Anushree Ghosh
It is summer without water, once again! The scorching summer has brought drought-like situations in the capital city Delhi. The unpredictable rains and increasing population have depleted groundwater resources. The serious water crisis is artificially created due to the maladministration and water wastage. Several areas of Delhi like Devli, Badarpur, Kanjhawala, Dwarka, Narela, Sangam Vihar, Burari, Khanpur, Bawana, and Mohan Garden are struggling because of acute water shortage. The public taps of these areas either have no water supply for days or are dispersing water that is not adequate for the people living in the locality, resulting in long queues and chaos, access to drinking water has also become difficult.
According to the Composite Water Management Index (CWMI) report, 21 Indian cities like Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, and Hyderabad will have zero groundwater by 2020, impacting the lives of millions of people. Excessive use of groundwater and unmonitored wasteful use of this precious resource have led us here where we are struggling for every drop of it. The same report also suggests that by 2030, India’s water requirement will get doubled, indicating a huge water shortage that could affect the lives and economy of the country.
Despite receiving the many benefits of being the capital, Delhi’s struggle with water is a clear indication that it needs to re-evaluate its plans for water conservation and other things that affect the supply of water in the crowded city. The situation becomes chaotic every time the lakes and canals that carry water from the northern state to Delhi go dry.
If you think that rainwater harvesting could be one of the ways to deal with the problem, then you are knocking at the wrong door. Ever since it has been made mandatory for all the building of the capital to install a rainwater harvesting structure, we have not seen any progress – even the important government buildings don’t have them.
No doubt, the water crisis is one of the biggest struggles that Delhi is facing right now. But, a faulty distribution system has also contributed a lot to the problem. It is estimated that almost 45% of water is either wasted or stolen by water mafia. If the pipeline leaks are properly fixed, then at least 35 % more water can be conserved. The concerned bodies are recommending a uniform drive to revive the water bodies.
Treating wastewater is another cost-effective way of dealing with water shortage. Around 85% of the water used in the household activities leaves in a polluted form but if that is treated and reused then a large part of the issue can be resolved.
Together as a community, we need to understand that it is not only the responsibility of the administrators but we all are equal stakeholders and we need to act as a unanimous force for sustainable growth.