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World Water Day 2018: 22 March

World Water Day 2018

The issue of water scarcity was first raised in the UN Conference on Environment and Development held at Rio De Janerio (Brazil) in 1992. Since 1993, UN celebrates it every year on 22 March and every year a particular water related issue is raised.

Theme: Nature for Water

The increasing population and infrastructure pressure has put huge pressure on the water resources particularly on ground level water. The water crisis in India is a serious problem for coming future.

Challenges

  • Due to the rapid growth of population, the per capita availability of fresh water has declined sharply from 3,000 cubic metres to 1,123 cubic metres over the past 50 years.
  • Two successive failed monsoons depleted the water reservoirs. Many of the minor water tanks have dried up and storage in the 91 nationally monitored reservoirs has gone down from 158 billion cubic metres (BCM) to about 36 BCM.
  • Depleting groundwater levels the biggest threat to rural livelihoods and food security. There’s been a 6% point dip in share of groundwater wells within 10 metres below the ground.
  • Thousands of villages are facing record-breaking drought, now depended solely on water from state supplied tankers. Fearing violence over water, recently the Latur district administration has imposed restrictions on assembly.
  • In addition to poor monsoons, decades of groundwater abuse, populist and flawed water policies and corruption in water reforms have turned water crisis to more serious one.

Suggestions:

  • Indian agriculture accounts for 80% of total water consumption, so an efficient irrigation system is the need of the hour.
  • Government should promote rain water harvesting more seriously and should make it compulsory for major players.
  • Government should build more reservoirs across the country. There should be more dams constructed, especially at the places where the rain water gets drained out without utilisation.

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