40 million people effected by water shortages as India is drying up

There are ATM’s in India where people do not line up to withdraw money, but to get hold of something even more precious. Clean water.

India’s waters are evaporating at an unprecedented rate. Wetland areas have shrunk, rivers have run dry. In North Gujarat ground water tables are falling twenty feet per year. In Tamil Nadu a staggering 95 per cent of the wells have dried up. Half a billion people in the country are affected by the scarcity of water, and in some areas the situation is so bad that recent research, published in The Guardian, have found that almost 60,000 farmers have committed suicide over the past decade.

The video from the keynote by Rituraj Phukan at the 2018 WeDontHaveTime Climate Conference
”Our water crisis has immersed as our local issue of global climate change”, says Rituraj Phukan, chief operation officer at the NGO Walk for water.

The Walk for water organisation was set up with the sole aim of providing clean water access to everyone. It is determined to build a mass movement to increase awareness, minimize water wastage and promote rainwater harvesting and the purification of recycled and contaminated water.

The efforts are urgently needed. And not just in India.

”Just last week a new satellite warning system showed that shrinking reservoirs in India, Morocco, Iraq and Spain could potentially spark the next day zero water crisis”, Rituraj Phukan said during his speech at the WeDontHaveTime climate conference on April 22, the first public, global, ”no fly” event of its kind.

To combat the acute situation community water centres and water ATM’s are being set up in the areas most prone to draughts.

”Water ATM’s sell clean drinking water at affordable prices. They could also solve the problem of empty plastic bottles being littered everywhere and filling up rivers”, says Rituraj Phukan. ”But the greatest hope I have is rain water harvesting. The potential in India is massive.”
June 18 2013 saw this flooding in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand State, India. Photography: AP

He rounds up his speech by displaying a quote by polar adventurer Robert Swan:

The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it. — Robert Swan
”I believe in that”, says Rituraj Phukan, ”because we really don’t have time.”

Written by: Markus Lutteman


Facts about Rituraj Phukan

Rituraj Phukan. Photography: Amalgamated Plantations Pvt Ltd

Rituraj Phukan is an Indian climate leader and mentor, working with former US Vice President Al Gore and renowned climate scientists and communicators on The Climate Reality Project.

He is the Chief Operation Officer at the NGO Walk For Water in India.

He is also Secretary General of Green Guard Nature Organization, a grassroots nature conservation NGO working with fringe forest communities to mitigate man-animal conflict, wildlife conservation and climate change awareness.

Web site: https://www.walkforwater.in/

Facts about WeDontHaveTime

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