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2-min read

Rural Water Management:Do We Need Government Intervention to Manage Our Water Resources?

The government as well as the populous have woken up to the crisis and are taking steps through schemes and individual measures to help avert the crisis before there is no turning back.

Updated:December 18, 2019, 5:19 PM IST
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Rural Water Management:Do We Need Government Intervention to Manage Our Water Resources?
The government as well as the populous have woken up to the crisis and are taking steps through schemes and individual measures to help avert the crisis before there is no turning back.

Do you remember the days before water was ‘governed’? Not to say it was a first-come-first-serve proposition, but water usage and its systems were managed internally by communities and individuals, whose sole purpose was the good of the community they hailed from. Water was democratic.

Not to be a wet blanket (ironic considering we are about to talk about a severe water crisis), but water management and distribution systems that have been put into place by the government, which were meant to streamline the process, which were meant to be a guarantee for just and appropriate dispersion of available water resources, might just have done more harm than good.

Firstly, the control given over to the state began the exploitation of water resources, as and when the government saw fit. Water was diverted where they felt was needed more, leaving others thirsty and without any alternative. And this happened after the construction of man-made structures like tube-wells and dams killed the traditional methods of water harvesting. The water withdrawn from the rivers and reservoirs increased in volume leading to much more strain on the existing resources which never existed before.

Another side effect of the government gaining power over water was the costing. The prices of supplying went high, thus having a ripple effect on the economic structure, leading to the repairs of damages increasing in cost and affecting the entire system. Do you see the pattern that led to a non-sustainable model of water that has now led to this crisis that we are in right now? And the rural areas are the most affected by this because with time as the urban areas have come up with technology and ways to provide a steady water supply to households, the rural areas have seen no such solutions. They still languish at the mercy of water tankers, only a meagre amount of households possesses tapped water availability, of which a major amount is still untreated.

When did this become the situation? In earlier times, this wasn’t the case. While it can be argued that the rural population density of then and now widely differs thus leading to a water deficit, one can also say that rainwater harvesting was the one and only method of them acquiring water as opposed to the multiple alternatives available now. What can be done to create water reservoirs that make rural areas self-sustainable?

These are many questions that are being slowly answered. The government as well as the populous have woken up to the crisis and are taking steps through schemes and individual measures to help avert the crisis before there is no turning back. One such step is also being taken by the Harpic News18 Mission Paani initiative, a platform that is creating awareness around the crisis, along with information and details on how to counter it. Log on here and help save the nation from a crisis that could be a matter of life and death, literally.

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