“When the well is dry, we know the worth of water” quoted by Benjamin Franklin. During school, we learned the fact that water is a basic need of human being. But it is rightly said that human beings are meant to make mistakes. Misunderstanding the worth of water is the mistake we made. According to the World Bank reports 76 million Indians are without access to safe water. Moreover, India has just 4% of world fresh water. With rising effect of global warming, there is a considerable increase in demand for water. Moreover, rural area is under more pressure due to water crisis than people residing in city areas. For instance, last year Latur district in Maharashtra faced a severe drought, shifting our focus towards water conservation. According to reports across India as a whole that women spend 150 million, work days every year fetching and carrying water equivalent to a national loss of income INR 10 billion.
One of the most prominent reasons for water crisis is lowering the amount of groundwater. Statistics from January 2016 to January 2015 shows that out of 13244 wells analyzed, 4570 (35%) are showing the rise and 8446 (64%) are showing fall in water level alarming government authorities. Deforestation plays an important role in lowering the amount of groundwater. India is losing about 6,000 million ton of topsoil annually due to water erosion in the absence of trees. The loss worked out from the topsoil erosion in 1973 was Rs. 700 crore, in 1976, 1977 and in 1978 was Rs. 889 crore, Rs. 1,200 crore and Rs. 1,091 crore respectively. The only solution to deforestation is promoting Van Mahotsav on large scale by maintaining good coordination in a three-tier government.
The virtual water flow from states like Punjab (Northern India) is raising questions on water sustainability as if we continue with the current methods; groundwater depletion by 2050 may increase up to 75%. India exports water-intensive crops such as rice. It is estimated that in 2010, India exported about 25 km3 of water embedded in its agricultural exports. This is equivalent to the demand of nearly 13 million people. India was a ‘net importer’ of virtual water until around the 1980s, but with the increase in grain exports, India has now become a net exporter of virtual water – about 1% of the total available water every year. The government needs to look into this capping the net export per year. People heard about various types of the market but never heard of the water market. Amreli is the place where water is available once in 10 days. These situations make us remember worth of water.
The government needs to look into immediate solution making India water Abundant. Rainwater harvesting model needs to be implemented in every locality. It reduces the use of treated municipal water for uses such as landscaping, toilet flushing, and laundry; reduces the need for drilling; and reduces peak stormwater volume. Just like China water conservation project needs to be implemented improving water management and to increase water productivity in areas. “A drop of water is more worth than sack of gold to a thirsty man.”