The Govt Of India’s NITI Aayog indicated in their recent report that India is suffering from the worst water crisis in its history.
The 180-page report on Composite Water Management Index goes on to say that ‘by 2030, the country’s water demand is projected to be twice the available supply, implying severe water scarcity for hundreds of millions of people and an eventual 6% loss in the country’s GDP.’
Back in our own city, the several media reports, studies and aggressive campaigns has not helped improve the water availability and supply. So much so, that we are now likely to be provided with only half our requirement of water.
Colonel (Retd) Shashikant Dalvi, District Manager (Pune)- The Climate Reality Project, India, believes it is time to educate all the stake holders about water supply management.
“For the past few years our civic administration is promising 24/7 water supply to Pune citizens. Their plans have not been made public till date. Pune has plenty of natural water assets including receiving 750 mm of annual average rainfall.
“There are some pressing issues that need to be resolved at the earliest without which, even adequate water supply will be impossible, leave alone 24/7 supply.
Mula, Mutha, Pawana, Ramnadi and Devnadi are dead. The green cover is now reducing at an alarming rate. Groundwater table is depleting rapidly due to over extraction.
“With urbanisation, no storm water drains, reducing tree cover, ground water depletion is rapid. To add to this, this year’s monsoon deficit will further deplete the ground water table,” Dalvi adds.
Authorities Must Address These Issues To Improve Water Supply
- Unequal water distribution ranging from 350 litres/citizen per day to around 80 litres
- Heavy transportation losses of 40 % in city water supply system
- Poor implementation of Water Conservation & Rain Water Harvesting policies.
- No Recycling & Reuse of Grey water. Around 65 % of daily water supply gets converted into Grey water.
- Rainwater harvesting can make a society up to 65% self-sufficient.
- Around 1 cr. litres of water is wasted to clean and wash vehicles every day.
“I hope this reduction in the water supply is for a limited period of time,” says Meenakshi Joag, a Kondhwa resident.
“As it is, we have been struggling with the lack of adequate water and frequent power cuts, and now this major setback will further increase our problems.
Storing water is again a big issue, keeping in mind that it can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Moreover, festivals are coming in. We ought to have at least water supply twice on weekends so that we can prepare ourselves for Navaratri and Diwali,” she adds.
Another resident of Kondhwa Budruk says that the water cut won’t bother them much as they are already dependent on water tankers to fulfill their daily requirements.
“This decision won’t bother us much. We have now adjusted to that fact that every month we have to spend around four to five thousand rupees in procuring water tankers.
The authorities haven’t done anything to resolve this issue. Tankers have been brought in and the water mafias have been making money. Probably, the money is shared with people who are supposed to be solving our water issues” he adds.
“This was a foreseen situation given the exploitation of resources, unplanned transportation system, lack of infrastructure and maintenance…
“Adding to this is the merger of 34 villages, wastage and ignorance etc.,” says Purvi, a city-based mechanical engineer. “The authorities are looking at water cuts just after the monsoon.
The situation will worsen. Some parts of the state are drought prone due a severe rain deficit. Provisions will be made to support them with enough water and in such cases, someone has to sacrifice their share.
“I hope there is adequate provision being made to cater to our water needs in the summer,” Purvi remarks.
#All views are those of the individual respondent’s and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to them.
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