Tackling Delhi’s Water Crisis - Eastern Mirror
Thursday, July 11, 2024

Tackling Delhi’s Water Crisis

By The Editorial Team Updated: Jun 17, 2024 11:52 pm

Instead of indulging in blame games, it is pertinent that Delhi finds an amicable solution to its ongoing water crisis. There is no point in creating another Cauvery-like water dispute in northern India. Instead, all northern and north-western states should carefully draw out a plan for distribution of Yamuna, Ganga and Sutlej rivers to quench the thirst of the people living in the region. The states situated in the upper reaches of the stream should show maturity in helping states in the lower parts. Delhi meets 70 per cent of its water requirement from the Yamuna which flows through Haryana before entering the national capital. The ongoing water crisis in Delhi should be viewed from this very perspective. It may sound strange but the fact remains that despite being the home to 18 per cent of the world’s population, India’s share in global water resources is merely four per cent. As a result, India’s per capita water availability stands at 1100 cubic metres, while the international benchmark is 1700 cubic metres. It should be noted that if the per capita water availability goes below 1000 cubic metres, it is considered to be unfit for living and today India finds itself very close to that danger mark.

The problem has been further aggravated with population growth and unplanned human settlement. Little over five decades ago, per capita availability of water was 2.5 times more than the present figure. But since 1970, it has gone down alarmingly, resulting in a 60 per cent drop in freshwater availability for every Indian. Moreover, wastage of water has become a serious problem in the country. As per estimates, a massive 4,84,20,000 crore cubic metres of water get wasted in India every day, leaving 160 million people without clean and fresh water. Among the regions, north and north-western India are more water stressed than others. Thus, water crisis is inevitable in states like Punjab, Rajasthan, Delhi, Haryana and parts of Uttar Pradesh, especially during summer when the scorching heat increases water consumption. To defuse the crisis, all these states generously extract groundwater every summer sending the groundwater level further down. From the above statistics, it is clear that India has to use its limited water resources judiciously to avert a major water crisis in the near future.

So to solve the water crisis in Delhi, the various governments should sit across the table to sort out differences between them. The authorities must remember that  they are duty bound to lessen the plight of the people. At the same time, a massive drive should be undertaken by the Delhi government to create awareness among the people against wastage of water. Furthermore, punitive action should be taken against water mafias who are arm-twisting the people to make huge gains by taking advantage of the crisis. A successful solution of the water problem in the national capital will likely result in reducing the chances of facing a nationwide water scarcity sooner than later. Thus, the importance of tackling Delhi’s water crisis is paramount.

By The Editorial Team Updated: Jun 17, 2024 11:52:53 pm
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