Clean fresh water is an essential ingredient for a healthy human life. Unfortunately, in our country, the way water is managed and used needs to be changed in order address the problem of water scarcity. Discuss ways in which water can be used judiciously to maintain it at a sustainable level.
Clean fresh water is an essential ingredient of human life. Water scarcity is the lack of sufficient available water resources to meet the needs of people in a region. In India, with the growing population, the stress on water resources is increasing. In such a scenario, the water related policies should be made stronger and it is necessary to change the current pattern of water usage so that the country doesn’t become severely water-stressed in the coming times.
Some of the ways in which the use of water can be controlled are:
- It is the duty of the states to strengthen the water related policies since water is a state subject
- Policies should aim towards protection, preservation and conservation of water
- Since water is a finite resource, population pressures have reduced the water availability per capita.
- There should be an integrated planning on water resources. There are several departments presently handling the subject of water. The policies framed by various agencies should adhere to a common Board of National Water Policy.
- Other methods like rain water harvesting, water storage, etc should be more seriously implemented
- There should be participatory and community management of water.
Demarcation of ground water protection zones:
Just like the eco sensitive zones, water scarce zones can be demarcated as well. In these zones,
- Mining should be regulated as it pollutes water
- No water resource can be privately owned
- Owners of land would not have any right over the water beneath
- Use of chemicals and fertilizers in the soil of these regions should be banned in order to preserve the water beneath.
The Ministry of Water Resources and an Expert Committee on institutional reforms in the water sector have proposed drafts of two laws, in which some radical changes to bring reforms in the water sector, have been stated.
Some of them are:
- The right to water for life- a minimum amount of water should be entitled to every citizen as a matter of right.
- This right has to be followed by food security, agriculture, etc
- No one should be denied this minimum amount and it should be given free of cost
- Pricing of water should be made differential and can be graded according to income groups.
- The River Basin Authorities should prepare master plans for each basin, sub-basin, etc to which every project to take place must conform.
- Water use Associations should be made at gram panchayat levels
- There should be a reduction in the industrial water foot print. Annual reports of industries should declare their water footprints and bring it down every year.
- Ideally, only recycled water should be used for industries.
These innovative and useful steps can address the water problem to a certain level. More focus should be emphasized on their implementation rather than just mere legislations.