What is Water Shortage?
Water shortage is also known as Water Scarcity and it is a burning or the most popular issue in India. We all hear in daily news that the dry states i.e. Rajasthan, Gujarat and some other states are suffering from water shortage.
But nowadays, almost all states of India are suffering from water shortage and therefore, it has become a serious issue.
This water shortage has also caused the states to have inter-state disputes to avail the benefits of the rivers which are flowing through more than one state.
This is the general scenario of water and the scarcity problems associated with it in India.
As we know, almost all countries are facing water scarcity issues and some countries are suffering from worse conditions which involve importing Water.
Therefore, it is a serious issue that “water: our basic and primary necessity for living” is imported or bought.
No one should be denied from their primary necessities of living but still some nations import water. For example, countries like Iran, Iraq and the gulf countries are suffering from major water scarcity issues.
But the question lies as to why is the water being imported or why there is a water shortage when almost 70% of the Earth’s Surface is covered with water bodies.
In India itself there are so many rivers which originate from the Himalayas and flow till the South of India. Still, why is it that we have water scarcity issues?
The answer to this is that even if there is 70% of the Earth’s surface covered by water body, 95% of these water bodies are oceans and seas.
These oceans and seas contain salty or saline water which cannot be used by the humans and is non-potable. This salty water cannot be used in the Industrial sector, there also river water or sweet water is required.
Why is Water Scarce in India?
As discussed above, it is clear that we have some of the longest and largest rivers flowing in our country still why do we face such a problem.
For example, the Brahmaputra, the Ganga, the Indus river, etc. are some of the well-known rivers which have the capacity to provide water to most of the population of the country.
It is clear that we have water available in the form of oceans, seas, rivers, etc. but the ocean and sea water is saline. In fact, half of our country is surrounded by oceans and seas.
For example, the East of the Indian coast is surrounded by the Bay of Bengal, South of India is surrounded by the Indian Ocean and West Coast is surrounded by the Arabian Sea.
But it is already known that this saline water is of no use for our domestic purpose. So, we come back to the rivers.
There are abundant rivers flowing in the Indian Subcontinent still some states of India are such that they hardly have one or two rivers flowing in their region.
For example, Gujarat and Rajasthan have minimum rivers flowing in those states.
Therefore, there are many interstate projects which help such states which have minimum rivers flowing through the region.
These projects involve transporting of the required amount of water to these states. But then, this concept is unsure because everyone wants to store the water for themselves due to increasing scarcity of water.
Water Pollution and Inter-State Issues
Even if we have plenty of rivers in other states, like the Ganga and Brahmaputra river flowing in the northern and north-eastern part of India, this water is getting polluted.
And the pollution has reached to such an extent that now this river water is also not good enough for the human use.
There are plenty rivers in the Southern part of the country as well. The rivers like Godavari, Krishna, Cauvery, Mahanadi, etc. are some of the well-known rivers flowing in this region.
The scenario over here is also the same that is increasing pollution and also an issue called as interstate disputes.
This issue comes into picture when a single river is flowing through 2 or more states and when every state demands for a fair share of water from that river for their own use.
This concept is actually very selfish because here we do not think about the actual water providing capacity of the river, we just think about our gain of water from it.
These are the major issues going on in India which are no longer related to just water scarcity problem but has now become a political issue.
Considering the water scarcity issue there is also another reason as to why is there water shortage if we have so many rivers.
The reason being is rivers are polluted because the industries and the factories do not treat their sewage material before dumping it in the rivers.
There are so many industries on the banks of these rivers for the sole purpose of dumping their waste in the rivers without any further complications or time-consuming treatments.
The major rivers like Ganga, Yamuna, Brahmaputra, etc. are polluted tremendously, that now the colour of the water has changed to a darker shade.
In the last decade, there is a rapid increase in the water pollution and there is also a variety in the “water pollutants”. There is an increase in heavy metal concentration in river water as most of the sewage material is of such type.
The heavy metals like Arsenic, Lead, Mercury, Cadmium, etc. are very harmful to the human body and also carcinogenic to a certain extent.
As we know that the river water seeps into the ground to form ground water which then further goes to form wells and tube wells.
This is the main drinking source of water and if the river water becomes polluted then indirectly the drinking water also becomes polluted.
If the condition of the drinking water is like this which contains such hazardous elements then it becomes a disastrous situation for the human, aquatic as well as the animal population of that region.
These are the major reason that we face the problem of water scarcity in India even when we have so many rivers flowing in our country.
What can we do to Save Water?
We now know the various aspects and reasons of water scarcity in India but water is a very valuable component of our life and does not have any alternative for us. It is either water or nothing for us.
Therefore, we ourselves need to take efforts to save whatever water we receive in the form of rainwater and also by purifying the river water if at all possible.
There are many measures or techniques introduced by the Government to save potable water and improve the water quality.
Rainwater Harvesting is a technique introduced by the government and many people have also implemented it on a domestic level to save the rainwater.
This is done basically to store the rainwater and not allowing it to flow away into the already polluted rivers.
Then there is another scheme introduced by the government to clean the Ganga river which is receiving a positive response.
It is high time that we start saving the water available to us because, time is going to turn more difficult for us with the increasing population and pollution.
Feature Image Credit: Pixabay