The way the demand for water in India has increased in the last 50 years, the process of water management has not seen any rapid pace. Due to this, the gap between the supply and demand of water has widened. There is a need to work on a large scale to meet all the needs. On the occasion of World Water Day on 22 March, we try to understand the problems of groundwater. The way Safe Drinking Water Is Being Exploited in the earth’s womb, our future without water is visible.
World Water Day
The water crisis has become a perennial one. Wherever drinking water is available, contaminated water is being found. A large part of the diseases caused to humans is due to this contaminated water. Almost all the fresh water available in the world is in groundwater. From this, the needs of drinking, irrigation, sanitation, agriculture, industry, and ecosystem are met.
Groundwater is such a precious resource that we do not see it. Being present under our feet helps in our all-round vertical and horizontal development. Groundwater has been the basis of our existence for centuries. Every year, so much water can be produced in the form of rain on the earth that it can satisfy the thirst and water needs of many people. But since the last century, we have exploited this earth resource so much that its quantity kept on shrinking. The water that came on the earth from the rain also failed to reach the earth’s womb.
Groundwater: Make The Invisible Visible
Most of the water bodies present on the earth, i.e., lakes, ponds, lakes, and small tributaries, disappear. Earlier, rainwater used to accumulate in these water sources and seep into the earth’s womb throughout the year. Along with raising the groundwater level, it also makes it clean. Now a large part of the earth has been concretized, which comes in the way of self-recharge of groundwater. Therefore, due to less deposit and more withdrawal, the situation of groundwater becomes critical. World Water Day is celebrated every year on 22 March to make the world aware of saving water and its innovative use. The theme of World Water Day 2022 is Groundwater: Making The Invisible Visible. In such a situation, investigating the relationship between flowering and flourishing human existence by saving groundwater is a huge issue for all of us today.
How surprising it is that despite having water on two-thirds of the earth, there is a water shortage. Most of the available water on earth is salty and cannot be used for drinking or other activities. But the clean water that is there has also started decreasing a lot. Some of its contributions are also due to change due to climate change. A large part of this is also due to human negligence. Over-exploitation of groundwater, allowing rivers and ponds to dry up and polluting other water sources so much that they cannot be used. All these reasons are the main reasons for the depletion of groundwater.
Status of groundwater in India.
India has only 2.4% of the world’s total land area, and 18 percent of the world’s population resides here. In such a situation, more pressure on natural resources is natural. India has only 4% of the total water resources of the world. The bad thing about this is that India alone accounts for 25% of the groundwater drawn by the whole world every year. At present, the availability of water in India is one-third compared to 1952.
But on the other hand, if we talk about the population, it has increased from 36 crores to 135 crores. The current situation is that people in India are becoming increasingly dependent on groundwater. Due to this, the groundwater is depleting at an average of 1 ft every year. Due to this, about 150 million people in North India face a severe water crisis.
Some things to understand.
We all know that water is a renewable resource. Through the cycle of evaporation and rain, the total amount of water available on the earth is not lost. Therefore, there is no danger that the water on the earth will run out. The danger is whether there will be enough clean water to meet our needs.
Ground Water Conservation
Because of all these problems and to save our future, there is a need to maintain the ratio of taking groundwater and returning it. Rain conservation work can be done by reviving ponds and puddles inside the village. In the same cities, this can be done through rooftop rainwater harvesting. At present, about 50% of the total reservoirs are dry, and the remaining 30% are full of filth. Out of the complete existing reservoirs, 80% of the reservoirs have reached their water holding capacity. Both the government and the society will have to make efforts on a war footing to overcome the groundwater crisis in the country. There is a need for strict laws for groundwater use in India because only clean drinking water is used here.
More investment will have to be made in water supply and storage infrastructure. Agriculture should also be made so that it consumes less water. At present, about 70% of the freshwater is used for irrigation.
Needs of water.
- On average, a person spends 20 liters of water for essential purposes like food, drink, and cleanliness. Apart from this, water is used for washing clothes and bathing. See, https://www.worldwaterday.org/stories-2021/story/importance-groundwater
- If we talk about other countries like Germany, then a person consumes an average of 140 liters of water per day. It flushes 30 liters of water into the toilet.
- The total process of processing and transporting enough beans for one cup of coffee takes an average of 140 liters of water. These are some of the water expenses that are not visible.
- Irrigation accounts for 89% of groundwater consumption in India.
- 9% of the water gets used up for domestic purposes.
- 2% of groundwater is used for commercial purposes.
- In 13 states, the groundwater deficit was found to be more than the national average.