Need for Water Conservation
We all know that only one percent of the water available on the ground is available for our use. The remaining amount of water exists as saline water in the oceans and as snow in the mountains and polar regions. The ever-increasing population and modern lifestyles have increased the consumption of water by leaps and bounds. Not only this, due to the indiscriminate exploitation of the environment, the amount of rainfall is also getting reduced day by day. These circumstances pose a serious challenge to humanity in the form of the water crisis. If they are not dealt with in due course of time, this will pose a serious crisis not only to humans but also to the lives of other living beings.
In terms of the water resources available in India, it becomes clear that in 2001, the annual per capita 1800 cubic meters of water was available, which will be reduced to 1000 cubic meters in 2050 AD. Nearly one-fourth of the population in India is affected by severe drought due to continuous weak monsoon. About 50% of India’s regions are suffering from drought-like conditions, particularly in the western and southern states, with a severe water crisis. According to the overall water management index report released by NITI Aayog in 2018, about 100 million people living in 21 major cities of the country are facing a severe water crisis. This report states that by the year 2030, the demand for water will be almost doubled compared to the supply.
Major Causes of the Water Crisis in India
- The geographical location of the southern and northwestern parts of India is such that the monsoon weakens by reaching it, which reduces the amount of rainfall. Therefore, this region is facing a severe water crisis.
- Due to indiscriminate exploitation of the environment and the impact of El-Nino, the rainfall was reduced, due to which the situation of the water crisis was created.
- India’s agricultural ecology is compatible with crops that require more water in their production. Such as rice, wheat, sugarcane, jute, and cotton, etc. In addition, due to lack of information, more irrigation is also done than crops are required.
- Instead of reusing most of the water in cities, it is directly discharged into the river.
- There is a lack of awareness among people about water conservation.
Water Conservation Measures
- Rainwater harvesting can be one of the biggest ways to deal with the water crisis in water scarcity areas. The collection of rainwater is also called ‘rain farming’ or ‘rain harvest’. According to the report of the Center for Science and Environment, if half the amount of average rainfall of our country is collected in 1.12 hectare of land in every village, then there will be no drinking water crisis in any village of the country.
- A public awareness campaign should be conducted on a war footing by government and non-government organizations for water conservation.
- According to Uttarakhand Water Resources, “By filling water in a plastic bottle in a flush tank in the toilet, one liter of water can be saved each time.
- Ponds should be built for rainwater harvesting in cities and low-lying areas of the village. This will not only ensure the availability of water for irrigation and other works, but the water level of the groundwater will also rise.
- Pollution-free plants should be installed for the wastewater coming out of villages, cities, and factories so that this water can be reused.
- Tanks should be constructed on the roofs of houses for the collection of rainwater, which can be used for purposes other than drinking.
- Forests help in bringing rain. Therefore, to save them from being cut, campaigns should be started for maximum plantation.
- Stringent laws should be enacted at the government level to conserve water.
- Bore-wells should be constructed for their absorption in the ground to avoid the wastewater flowing into the drains from the houses, which will improve the groundwater level.
- Rainwater harvesting techniques should be used for water conservation.
- The sprinkler method should be used for irrigation in fields. This can not only save huge amounts of water but can also produce relatively good crops.
- It is very important to prevent the ‘misuse’ of water by law at all levels, by effective propagation through media, and by compulsorily teaching the subject of ‘water conservation like ‘environment’ in schools.
The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court has ruled in a lawsuit that the water bodies like ponds, rivers, canals, mountains, forests, and hills all maintain ecological balance. Therefore, to overcome the ecological crises and to have a healthy environment, it is necessary to protect these natural bodies so that all can enjoy the rights given by Article 21 of the Constitution.
Undoubtedly, in present times water crisis is taking serious form in front of humanity. If not settled in time, there is no doubt that the next world war will be for water. At this time we all have to take our own responsibility and others will also have to be motivated for water conservation. Leaving this work only for the efforts of the government is not empty of danger.