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Essay on water crisis in india

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essay on water crisis in india 2129 words essay on water crisis in India

Short Essay on Water - Important India

Till now, we discussed the Policy Management, which the Governments must adopt. But the end user 'the Common Man' has certain essential duties which are expected of him in this new Millennium, only then the well-laid policies of our Government will be successful.

People can contribute by lending their hand in cleaning all village tanks, wells and building percolation tanks and small check dams (e.g. Chikkapadasalagi Barrage in Bijapur District of Karnataka was a produce of local people's contribution and hard work).

Active involvement of Panchayati Raj Institutions in organism; awareness camps and coordinating people's efforts is the need of the hour.


Our ancient history is the best tonic for our future deeds.

Chennai and Bangalore suffer from 53.8 and 39.5 per cent deficiency respectively. Andhra Pradesh has too extremes: deficiency is a moderate 24.2 per cent in Hyderabad, an alarming 91.8 per cent in Vaizag. In the north, Delhi records 29.8 per cent water deficiency and Lucknow, 27.3 per cent.

Table 16.6 Demand, Supply and Deficiency of Water in Selected Cities of India in Million Litres per Day (MLD):

City Demand Supply Deficiency (%)
Mumbai 4,300 3,600 43.3
Delhi 3,830 2,950 > 29.8
Kolkata 2,258 1,568 44.0
Chennai 3,000 1,950 53.8
Hyderabad 956 770 24.2 (least deficient)
Indore 318 184 72.8
Bangalore 1,200 860 39.5
Lucknow 560 440 27.3
Jabalpur 239 144.5 65.4
Vaizag 305 159 91.8 (most deficient)

Central India is more water-deficient than the north with wide regional variations. For example, Bhopal is 26.4 per cent water-deficient while Indore and Jabalpur record rates of 72.8 and 65.4 per cent respectively. Mumbai in the west, with deficiency rate of 43.3 per cent, is similarly situated to Kolkata which clocks at 44 per cent.

Nearly 40 per cent of water demand in urban India is met by ground water.


Monsoon rains have been scanty in India for the second year in succession. The melting of snow in the Himalayas - the mountain holds the world's largest body of ice outside the polar caps and contributes up to 15% of the river flow - has been delayed this year, says SK Haldar, general manager of the barrage. "There are fluctuations like this every year," he says.

'Filthy river'

But the evidence about the declining water levels and waning health of the 2,500km (1,553 miles)-long Ganges, which supports a quarter of India's 1.

" (Article 25, Universal Declaration of Human Rights) Without access to clean water, health and well-being are not only severely jeopardized, they are impossible: people without basic water supplies live greatly reduced and impoverished lives - with little opportunity to create better futures for their children.

Let us acknowledge that clean water is a universal human right, and in so doing accept that we have the corresponding universal responsibility to ensure that the forecast of a world where, in 25 years' time, two out of every three persons face water-stress is proven wrong. In this issue, United Nations' Secretary General Kofi Annan asks us to face up to the threat of a catastrophic water crisis and counter such bleak forecasts by adopting a new spirit of stewardship.

The Jordan Valley, shared by the people of Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, is one such example.

Water has been a fundamental security matter in the arid Middle East since antiquity. The allocation, use and rights to the increasingly scarce water resources of this volatile region remain sensitive, and potentially explosive, issues. Water is also largely sidelined, or hidden, in the mainstream peace negotiations. Hanan Sher of The Jerusalem Post sheds light on the trials and tribulations encountered on the road towards achieving water for peace in the Middle East, a road which I myself have recently revisited. Earlier this year I met with Prime Minister Barak, Chairman Arafat and King Abdullah of Jordan, and obtained their commitment to work with my organization, Green Cross International, and our partners, the Center for Middle East Peace and Economic Cooperation, to find solutions to the escalating regional water crisis.


It is important to appreciate the fact that only 3 per cent of the world’s water is fresh and roughly one-third of it is inaccessible. The rest is very unevenly distributed and the available supplies are increasingly contaminated with wastes and pollution from industry, agriculture and households.

Over the years, increasing population, growing industrialisation, expanding agriculture and rising standards of living have pushed up the demand for water. Efforts have been made to collect water by building dams and reservoirs and creating ground water structures such as wells. Recycling and desalination of water are other options but cost involved is very high.

However, there is a growing realisation that there are limits to ‘finding more water’ and in the long run, we need to know the amount of water we can reasonably expect to tap and also learn to use it more efficiently.

Readings showed that the water level in the canal connecting the river to the plant was going down rapidly. Water is used to produce steam to run the turbines and for cooling vital equipment of coal-fired power stations.

By next day, authorities were forced to suspend generation at the 2,300-megawatt plant in Farakka town causing shortages in India's power grid. Next, the vast township on the river, where more than 1,000 families of plant workers live, ran out of water. Thousands of bottles of packaged drinking water were distributed to residents, and fire engines rushed to the river to extract water for cooking and cleaning.

Human solidarity is the only force capable of facing a task of this magnitude. There must be solidarity in international and regional governance; there must be solidarity between sectors and stakeholders; and there must be political will amongst governments to work in good faith both with their neighbors and with their own people. These people, including often marginalized groups such as women and minorities, must have a voice, and the information and means necessary to use it.

Without water security, social, economic and national stability are imperiled. This is magnified where water flows across borders - and becomes crucial in regions of religious, territorial or ethnic tension. In some cases, as between India and Pakistan over the Indus River, successful cooperation over water resources can be cited as proof that even states with difficult relations can work together.

This will reduce the burden on flooding rivers and ensure smooth flow in the lesser-stressed, water-deprived rivers

Though this plan appears to be challenging a systematic and planned approach will certainly yield results.

(7) South India is often called a land of Tanks and Streams. They have always been an issue of neglect and carelessness. Many tanks which are lifeline to the areas in which they exist are on the verge of drying or dying due to excessive siltation.

Efforts must be undertaken to upgrade these vast natural tubs of water. A region specific inter-networking policy should be formulated and implemented.

(8) Policy of harnessing Under-Ground Water must be adopted. Checks and measures must be adopted in areas where the level is low compared to acceptable standards.

From as high as 18,417 cubic metres in the Brahmaputra valley, per capita water availability comes down to a low of 411 cubic metres in the east-flowing rivers between Pennar and Kanniyakumari. Even within the Ganga basin, the availability varies from 740 cubic metres in the Yamuna to 3,379 cubic metres in the Gandak (Chitale, 1992).

According to 2001 census figures, 77.9 per cent of India’s population had access to safe drinking water. At 90.0 per cent, urban population was better placed than 73.2 per cent of rural population. However, these figures could be misleading and the real picture emerges only when we look at the individual cities.

A survey conducted by Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS) showed 50 lakh households in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Kanpur and Madurai are water deficient (see Table 16.

Private investors should re encouraged in this area.

(13) The inter-State disputes must be given a fresh look and solved in the best interests of the disputing parties. A Committee headed by Prime minister and experts in Water Management should sincerely tackle the reputes and decisions must be acceptable to the disputing parties.

(14) Water pollution a major irritant in water management must be a a dressed sincerely. Industries, which polluted water resources in rivers and natural streams, must be brought within the strict purview of pollution norms. Any irritating industry should be heavily taxed and if necessary license should be withdrawn.

In many towns the drainage pollutants are discharged into rivers causing water borne epidemic diseases such as malaria, cholera.

Tens of thousands of farmers and livestock have moved to camps providing free fodder and water for animals in parched districts. The government has asked local municipalities to stop supplying water to swimming pools.

States like Punjab are squabbling over ownership of river waters. In water-scarce Orissa, farmers have reportedly breached embankments to save their crops.

Image copyright Ronny Sen Image caption Balai Haldar says the fish catch is depleting

Back in Farakka, villagers are washing clothes in the shallow waters of the power station canal and children are crossing by foot.

The increasing demands on fresh water resources by our burgeoning population and diminishing quality of existing water resources because of pollution and the additional requirements of serving our spiralling industrial and agricultural growth have led to a situation where the consumption of water is rapidly increasing and the supply of fresh water remains more or less constant.

It may be maintained that the water available to us is the same as it was before but the population and the consequent demand for water has increased manifold. The consequences of scarcity will be more drastic in arid and semi-arid regions. Water shortage will also be felt in rapidly growing coastal regions and in big cities. Several cities are already, or will be, unable to cope with the demand of providing safe water and sanitation facilities to their inhabitants.

It is also running out of fish. Tube wells in our village have run out of water," he says. "There's too much of uncertainty. People in our villages have moved to the cities to look for work."

It is a concern you hear a lot on the river these days. At the power plant, Milan Kumar says he is "afraid that this can happen again".

"We are being told that water levels in the Ganges have declined by a fourth. Being located on the banks of one of the world's largest rivers, we never thought we would face a scarcity of water.

"The unthinkable is happening.

(2) Per capita availability of water has reduced from about 5277m3 in the year 1955 to the present level of 1970m3.

(3) According to an estimate by Central Ground Water Board, 32 percent of available ground water resources have so far been developed.

(4) Out of4272 blocks in the country, ground water resources in nearly 500 blocks have been declared as "Over Exploited or Dark i.e. the state of ground water exploitation exceeds the annual replenish able recharge.

(5) Out of about 142 million hectares of net sown area in the country, 92.6 million hectares is rain-fed.

(6) Every alternate town/city in our country faces acute shortage of drinking water.

(7) 45 percent of Irrigation Potential area has been covered till date.


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