Do you think the water related challenges which India is bound to face in the future can be checked by a Pact between the Centre and the States?

Published: June 27, 2019

The recent water crisis in Chennai should act as an alarm for the entire country. Water-related crimes are already being reported even in parts of Madhya Pradesh. Among the 11 major cities which are expected to run out of drinking water is Bengaluru.
� Water shortage in India is not derived from insufficient supply but the way water is managed. Agriculture
accounts for around 78% water consumption in the country which in turn is very inefficient.
� Despite huge investments made in the irrigation networks still, two-thirds of it is derived from
groundwater. This has been made possible by lavish subsidies given by the governments on electricity to
pump out groundwater. This has led to gross irregularities and a mushrooming of tube-wells to pump out
� Even nearly 80 per cent of rural demand for water is taken care of by the groundwater.
� Urban India is plagued by the inefficient use of water which usually comes from old and broken networks of
distribution, bad operations, insufficient metering and even not complete billing and collection. Under-
pricing of water in urban areas is also another reason why it is wasted by users.
� Treated tap water is available to only 62 per cent of urban households and the ones who fall out of the
the ambit of piped supply have to depend on tankers which come at heavy rates. the deficit in demand is
plugged by digging borewells.
The government needs to work on financing and water pricing to check the demand management and economic possibility of these delivery systems. Supply from basic natural sources has to be encouraged. The natural water bodies like rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, etc. have to be protected from encroachment. Water is going to emerge as the most potent thing for survival and will also dictate the politics of the country. Governments at all levels should take coordinated action and both the Centre, State and local governments should take joint action.

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