NITI Ayog in a recent report on groundwater level says, 21 Indian cities including Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad – will run out of groundwater by 2020, affecting around 100 million people.
It also says that 40 per cent of India’s population will have no access to drinking water by 2030. The situation is alarming, given the fact that year 2020 is not very far.
Three rivers, four water bodies, five wetlands and six forests have completely dried in Chennai despite having better water resources and rains than any other metro cities, the report said.
CHENNAI WATER CRISIS
Chennai has been reeling under the water crisis after its four main water reservoirs ran completely dry. The acute water shortage has forced the city to scramble for urgent solutions, including drilling new boreholes.
The city, which, according to the 2011 census, is India’s sixth largest, has been gripped under a severe water shortage for weeks now.
In view of the extreme water shortage witnessed in Chennai, schools in the city are closing or holding half-day sessions for certain classes. Parents in the city have been receiving unexpected emails apprising them of the measure.
“The government is depending upon the desalination in Chennai which is very expensive also however they forget that the earth is a limited planet and oceans will dry. What will we leave for our children and grandchildren? We may have a lot of money but we cannot ask our children to drink money instead of water. Using ocean water and desalination is not the solution but water harvesting is” said former director of National Water Academy professor Manohar Khushalani.
“It is a collective responsibility of the government and people of the country to save water and contribute to increasing the groundwater levels,” he added.
Khushalani is presently working as professor in Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology Delhi and has also authored books ‘Irrigation Practice and designed in five volumes’.
“It is not very difficult and expensive to harvest rainwater. One can easily do it commonly in group housing societies or individually. We will just have to make our heart little bigger and more responsible to be thinking about our next generation,” the professor told ANI.
Khushalani further suggested that the regions which are facing drought should not do farming of sugarcane as it absorbs a lot of groundwater. “By becoming aware today we can avert the danger tomorrow,” he concluded.
(With inputs from ANI)