While the water crisis has impacted both urban and rural areas, the situation in the metropolitan India is now turning alarming. In 2015, urban areas of India had a population of 377 million, which is expected to rise to 590 million by 2030. The influx of people is high, and thus rises the requirement and demand for water. Resources are finite. Management needs work. If this continues, urban India will run out of water in the near future.
Here are some steps that need to be taken pronto if we want to avert a catastrophe. The solutions range from distribution of resources, to management, and are keeping in mind both short-term and long-term ramifications.
We have no option but to start recycling water. A lot of water just flows into the sewage and is eventually dumped into seas and oceans. Water used for industries and companies is of huge quantities. We need a system where this water is treated and utilised for industries, if not for consumption purposes. Along with that, we can’t harp enough on the importance of rainwater harvesting. It is like denying something that is essential, and is being given to us for free.
Communities need to come together and make use of methods and ways to become self-sustainable. Community water storages, water towers, water ATMs, all of these can be of great help when it comes to the distribution of water.
To combat contamination, each of us needs to set up systems in our homes that can help us be safe from contaminated water, be it through filters and house water safety kits or by installing quality sensors on your water outlets.
Use of Technology
Not many know that Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai actually has a government water app, one that is used to spread awareness regarding water saving tactics, update people about impending checks, leakages and quality of water. We are in the 21st century and can integrate more technology in the process to enable everyone help this cause.
An Integrated, Collaborative Approach
Right now, we are all working in silos. The people, the government, different organisations be it NGOs or private enterprises — all need to come together to create a model that is sustainable, and involved all in order to help curb this crisis. Water projects could be led with public-private partnerships, like how in Netherlands water companies are private companies, with their stakeholders being both local as well as the national government. Maybe that could solve a lot of issues.
Many times what happens is, the public might have the right intent, but not the resources or the means to do something to help others. There need to be more awareness campaigns, more noise around this topic and more platforms that people can approach. One such platform is Harpic-News18 Mission Paani. You can check out the great work being done by them in order to spread awareness about the water crisis here.