AIR Debate – Access to Clean Water for Sustainable Development
22nd march is celebrated as world water day. World Water Day is an international observance and an opportunity to learn more about water related issues, be inspired to tell others and take action to make a difference. In this regard we will look at certain issues and solutions in India to make water use more sustainable and accessible to all.
India is inherently blessed to have an abundant quantity of water resource especially in the form of ground water. Many times India is referred to as ground water civilisation. However in recent times due to in appropriate use of ground water the water levels in many parts of the country have come down. This problem can be addressed through efficient management of ground water.
Agriculture is by far the thirstiest consumer of water globally; accounting for 70% of water withdrawals worldwide, Rain fed agriculture is the predominant agricultural production systems in India and around the world. Wrong Cropping patterns, more reliance on ground water etc are some of the unsustainable practices that should be avoided and effective water management techniques like rain water harvesting, choosing the right crop, Drip irrigation etc is the need of the hour.
Industry, energy and domestic sector together account for 30% of water demand. Technological interventions are needed to recycle the water through cost effective, eco friendly, less energy intensive sewage treatment plants. The water crisis at Delhi, Mumbai can be effectively addressed through such effective technological interventions.
At the individual level one needs to be conscious about the his/her water use and need to understand where the water comes from. Awareness programs by government and school lessons for children should be taught at very young age so that every person becomes sensible when it comes to use of water.
Clean, accessible water for all is an essential part of the world we want to live in. There is sufficient fresh water on the planet to achieve this. But due to bad economics or poor infrastructure, every year millions of people, most of them children, die from diseases associated with inadequate water supply, sanitation and hygiene.
Water scarcity, poor water quality and inadequate sanitation negatively impact food security, livelihood choices and educational opportunities for poor families across the world. Drought afflicts some of the world’s poorest countries, worsening hunger and malnutrition.