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Why Lay Emphasis On Water In India?
Due to the rapid rise in population and growing economy of the country, there will be a continuous increase in demand for water, and it will become scarce in the coming decades
Photo Credit : Shutterstock
Water is one of the most important renewable natural resources for supporting life. With the increasing population of India as well as its all-round development, the utilisation of water is also increasing at a fast pace. Due to the rapid rise in population and growing economy of the country, there will be a continuous increase in demand for water, and it will become scarce in the coming decades.
India currently stores only 6 per cent of its annual rainfall or 253 billion cubic meters, while developed nations strategically store 250 per cent of the annual rainfall in arid river basins. India also relies excessively on groundwater resources, which accounts for over 50 per cent of irrigated area with 20 million tube wells installed. India has built nearly 5,000 major or medium dams, barrages, etc. to store the river waters and enhance ground water recharging.
About 15 per cent of India's food is being produced using rapidly depleting groundwater resources. The end of the era of massive expansion in groundwater use is going to demand greater reliance on surface water supply systems.
Water supply and sanitation in India continue to be inadequate, despite long-standing efforts by the various levels of government and communities at improving coverage. The level of investment in water and sanitation, albeit low by international standards, has increased during the 2000s. Access has also increased significantly; in 1980 rural sanitation coverage was estimated at 1 per cent and reached 21 per cent in 2008. At the same time, local government institutions in charge of operating and maintaining the infrastructure are seen as weak and lack the financial resources to carry out their functions. In addition, no major city in India is known to have a continuous water supply and an estimated 72 per cent of Indians still lack access to improved sanitation facilities.
According to the international norms, a country can be categorised as 'water stressed' when water availability is less than 1700 m3 per capita per year whereas classified as 'water scarce' if it is less than 1000 m3 per capita per year. In India, the availability of surface water in the years 2001 was 1902 meter cubes. However, it has been projected that per capita surface water availability is likely to be reduced to 1401 meter cubes and 1191 meter cubes by the years 2025 and 2050, respectively. The Per capita water availability in the year 2010 was 1588 meter cubes against 5200-meter cubes of the year 1951 in the country.
Celebrate this Water Day by conserving WATER.