The price of water

I read it somewhere, future wars won’t be fought for power, they’ll be fought over for something as basic as water. What I’ve seen in Bangalore is a testament to that statement made. It is not surprising though. We’ve taken nature for granted for far too long. We’ve always been under the false belief that we have a right over nature and all of its resources.

Bangalore for example has destroyed most of its water bodies. They’ve fallen prey to builder mafias. The lakes which are left are either foaming up or burning up like crazy. Fighting over water isn’t something new. The issue of the Satluj Yamuna link decides the political fates of Punjab and Haryana.

Let’s not forget that politicians everywhere pressurising farmers to grow the water hungry Sugarcane is also a huge culprit. However, while India is at a civil war like situation down south, we forget a very key treaty because of which India shares water generously, the Indus water pact. This treaty signed by Nehru gives Pakistan unrestricted access to the water of the Indus river, all this while India itself suffers and fights for water. Just damming up these rivers could solve India’s problems especially for agricultural states of Punjab, Haryana and even UP.

There are many other ways we are not exploring. In the age of Kings, villages maintained water bodies and created baolis for which the king paid. That practice was done away with when the Britishers came to India. Reviving our age old tradition can be a good start. Furthermore, rain water harvesting isn’t getting the attention that it truly needs. With India’s water woes expected to only grow, we need to act as a collective and do something. Whatever happened in Bangalore over sharing of river water is a testament that if we don’t get our act together, India will soon be a very thirsty nation.