So.. how do we go about managing our water!
With just 4 percent of the world’s water but 17 percent of its population, India seems to be on the brink as far as water availability is concerned.
With Climate change and variability in weather and an unexpectedness with which water is now showing up; things are only getting worse
This call for smarter, more efficient ways of managing water.
Essentially; the need for water is in cities and in rural areas. If you come to think of it; the need is for drinking firstand it is for agriculture and other allied uses
In urban areas its more about availability in terms of quantity; but in rural areas it can be as much about life and death and water quality as much as it is about mere availability.
Okay so lets try and put our mind on how the dynamics of rural water availability in India do work actually .
If we want to understand rural water provisioning, we have to understand the two sides of it i.e the supply side and the demand side. critical to understand conssumer patterns as well.
Simple enough? easy to digest? doable? Not so… whats been plaguing us is an inherent lack of vision in implementing supply programs huge costs being made
inefficiency and leakages in pipelines, inefficient management and upkeep of water sources like hand pumps, wells, lakes is not letting water to be used and capitalized upon well
on the other If managed by communities they have been seen to be managed far more efficiently.
Most government supply schemes have led to failed outcomes, difficulty in sustaining.
For drinking water; The scenario gave birth to rural water enterprises as an alternative, but with an absence of standards, difficulty in covering cap wex an opex costs an other problems associated with these enterpries they have alo seemingly failed.
Water used for drinking and water used for agriculture has to be balanced. Better , more efficient agriculture practices that limit the use of water, stop it’s wastage, demand driven drinking water processes are things that may eventually help, but these need better and more accountable systems to be developed by the government at all levels, be it at Panchayat, Block or District level!