There are two schools of people when it comes to the water crisis that we as a nation are collectively facing: those who are suffering through it every day, and those who don’t believe we have a problem because they have never faced water scarcity of any kind. Sceptics in this category also have a huge point to make in order to nullify the water crisis argument: Seventy one per cent of Earth is covered by water, 96 per cent of it being held by oceans. Why can’t we just use that water? Where is the crisis?
While we may be tempted to hold our head and gasp at the ignorance, in their own weird way they may be on to something. And this is exactly the avenue that is being explored in order to help urban India get as far away as possible from the water crisis.
When in 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi vowed to make a non-restricted access of clean water to every household a priority in 2024, Niti Aayog revealed a plan that may become the game changer that we need: turning towards our oceans, seas and India’s coastline to harvest water by desalinating it.
While a blueprint was provided, it involved setting afloat water desalination plants in the waters along India’s huge coastline. By a huge coastline, we mean the line spanning 7,800 km. The basic idea is, these desalination plants will do due diligence and process the waters to make them consumption worthy, and through a network of pipelines, make it accessible to populated urban areas. The best part about this plan is that it is multifold. Not only will it create a huge reservoir of water for all of our usage, it will do so with superb efficiency; since they plan to sue solar or ocean energy in order to see this plan through.
This plan comes at the behest of the newly created Jal Shakti ministry which is tasked with the humongous task of helping the country get by this water crisis, and Niti Aayog is working in close collaboration with the same.
It is really great to see the government realise the urgency of the situation and take steps that are radical. We all also need to contribute to this in our own little ways. You can start by getting information about the water crisis; how it’s affecting people and how to tackle it through Harpic-News18 Mission Paani. The platform is a nationwide initiative to create some much needed awareness for the crisis, and is taking wonderful strides in doing the same. Go on and lend a helping hand by registering here.