Day 65 – Q 3.What is water stress? Which parts of India are water stressed? How can proper water management help in addressing this challenge? Discuss.
3. What is water stress? Which parts of India are water stressed? How can proper water management help in addressing this challenge? Discuss.
जल स्ट्रेस क्या है? भारत के किन हिस्सों में पानी की कमी है? इस चुनौती को दूर करने में उचित जल प्रबंधन कैसे मदद कर सकता है? चर्चा करें।
Water stress is a situation where in the demand for water exceeds the available amount during a certain period or when poor quality restricts its use. Water stress causes deterioration of fresh water resources in terms of quantity and quality.
Parts of India facing water stress:
According to the data released by the World Resources Institute (global research non-profit organization), India is ranked 13th among the 17 most water stressed countries of the world.
(The diagram is for your reference. Draw simple diagram in exam)
- The states of Rajasthan and some parts of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat face water stress due to inadequate rainfall, desert like conditions, excessive evaporation.
- Parts of North East face water stress due to heavy rainfall and inadequate storage and distribution of water.
- The leeward side of western ghats which include several regions of Maharashtra like Marathwada, Saurastra of Gujarat, Bayalseema regions of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh face water stress due to inadequate monsoon rainfall.
- Groundwater depletion faces high groundwater depletion with states like Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan facing severe water stress. Punjab, Haryana also faces water stress due to overuse of water in agriculture.
- Almost all metropolitan cities like Bengaluru, Chennai, New Delhi and so on faces drinking water crisis.
Proper management of water would help address the issue as
- Watershed management programmes like PM Krishi Sinchai Yojana restore the ecological balance by harnessing, conserving and developing degraded natural resources such as soil, vegetative cover.
- Agriculture: Proper crop selection as per the climatic conditions would reduce the water requirement and also prevent groundwater depletion. E.g. Paddy grown in Punjab, Haryana; sugarcane grow in several parts Maharashtra is the major reason for water stress in those regions. Further, precision farming, micro irrigation techniques would reduce the use of water.
- Water use techniques: Israel supply around 70% of its domestic water requirement through desalination of sea water. This would help increase the supply to meet the growing demand. Similarly,
- Managing the urban water bodies provides additional storage for the rainwater and urban domestic supply.
- Ideas like Inter-river linking reduce persistent floods in some parts and water shortages in other parts of India.
- Decentralised water management like rainwater harvesting, local area water bunds creation under MGNREGA would help provide additional storage for water collection and reduce the dependency on long distance water supply.
- Proper drainage and sewerage management in cities would help not only in avoiding disasters like that happened in Chennai, but also help in recycling of water which could be used in non-domestic use.
Also, all these would help maintain adequate water supply during the summer season during which the water stress is more.
ZBNF in agriculture, desalination plants in Tamilnadu, projects like Mission Kakatiya, traditional water management like Bamboo drip irrigation of Meghalaya are some examples where proper water management is able to address water stress.
As per the report of Niti Aayog, India is currently suffering from the worst water crisis in its history with the country ranked at 120 among 122 countries in the quality of water. Around 70% of the water is not even drinkable as per the report. In these scenarios, the proper management of water is the need of the hour.