India is facing the worst water crisis in its history. As per a report by Niti Ayog 21 cities in India will run out of groundwater by 2020. According to a report published by WaterAid around 80% of India’s surface water is polluted. A majority of the population is dependent on the groundwater which is again struggling to keep pace with the needs of the rising population. While around 200,000 people are dying each year due to inadequate access to safe water, the situation will likely get worse as the population will increase.
While cities are grappling for water supply, there is an urgent need for improved measures to manage water resources. Water conservation and management are becoming a worldwide concern due to the accelerating water shortages, rapid development, population growth and growing agriculture. In such a situation, rainwater harvesting is a viable solution to help meet this demand and solve the water crisis to some extent.
A major population heavily depend on the municipality supplied water for daily household use. This growing reliance put an unnecessary burden on the infrastructure. Rain-water harvesting can save gallons of water for daily household or office use. For every 1000 sq feet of roof space, approximately 620 gallons of water can be saved every time it rains. This source of non-potable water can be used in flushing toilets, laundry etc. The saved water can fulfil at least 70% of the water demand in a household of 3 people during a drought year. If saved for months, this water can also be used for irrigation and fulfil the water requirement of crops in a drought-like situation. Further, if used with drip irrigation, more water can be saved and dependence on municipal water supplies can be reduced to a great extent.
Photo courtesy: Indiamart
Rainwater harvesting has been adopted by many countries as a viable means to save water. With the increasing population and dependence on water, it becomes pertinent for households to start investing in rain-water harvesting systems (RWH). Govt, both at the centre and state must take a proactive step towards making it mandatory for buildings and complexes to install Rainwater Harvesting System. A huge penalty should be imposed upon building without a proper urban water management system. Considering the huge water problem, monitoring and strict action against violation of the rules are equally important to deal with the crisis.
Water conservation also lies in the hands of Corporates and individuals. Corporate consciousness towards water and individual empathy can make a huge difference. With government mandating the socio good paradigm, the corporates now equally have the onus to implement low water usage methods and social welfare policies, aimed at water management and harvesting rainwater. Corporates within their capacity can design CSR initiatives concentrating on water conservation, rain-water harvesting and spread water awareness in the most interior parts of the country.
In order to save the country from the water crisis, social consciousness has to be practised at all levels. People have to come forward and realize their responsibility towards water and make sure we take proactive measures to ensure its effective management.
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Published On: September 7, 2019