‘Water water everywhere but not a drop to drink’ - as dramatic as this may sound, it pretty much captures where India is headed. The average rainfall for every region of India is deficit according to India Meteorological Department (IMD). This monsoon, 56 percent of land area of India short of the expected rainfall at this point and right alongside there are areas of severe floods. In the north east the Brahmaputra river has burst its banks. In the west, Mumbai saw 24 hours of 11 days of monsoon rain. The Mahalaxmi Express train from Mumbai to Kolhapur was stranded in floods.
These floods aside India face dangerous levels of water scarcity. By 2020 we will be declared as a water deficit country and finally this year water has become a national headline.
In this episode of Urban Realty, Avinash Mishra, advisor (WR & LR) at NITI Aayog, VK Madhavan, CEO of WaterAid India and Dinesh Kumar, ED of IRAP spoke at length about India’s growing water crisis.
“As you said there is water everywhere but not even a drop to drink. This situation has emerged because of a lot of flood occurring all around and there is no room for rivers,” said Mishra.
“The goal is pipe water supply to every household by 2024. The question is going to be to get there who you ensure that you have sustainable access to water. The fact is that you do not just need a sustainable access to water but you also need good and clean water quality to flow down those pipes,” added Madhavan.
Talking further about water issue, Kumar said, “The water issue has become a national issue now. There are a lot of discussions happening and the ministry seems to be quite open to getting ideas from various quarters; from the civil society, the academics, the water professionals etc. There is a much wider debate on water issues.”