Optimization of Water Resources-Maj Gen AK Chaturvedi, AVSM, VSM (Retd)

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Introduction

Once again after the current sweltering warm weather, the Monsoon is eagerly awaited; not only to get a respite from the heat but also to get water so essential for the crops. Good news is that as per the IMD prediction, this year the monsoon is going to be normal. However, the question is whether we are ready to make use of nature’s bounty for us? It may be noted that total quantity of water available in the world is 1600 million cubic km and 97.5% of it is saline. Of the balance 2.5% of the fresh water, most of it lies deep and frozen in Antarctica and Greenland. Only 0.26% is available in rivers, lakes and in the soil and shallow aquifer.

According to NITI Aayog surface water availability in India is 257 BCM per year which is likely to go up to 385 BCM in near future. India also has 432 BCM rechargeable ground water . India uses 634 BCM of water per year to grow food , generate energy and satisfy needs of industry. Thus theoretically availability should meet the requirement but the situation on ground has many problems and availability gets impacted by other environmental and men made factors. In this connection following two reports from World bank and NASA are relevant:-

World bank Report-“…unless water management practices are not changed and changed soon …India will face a severe water crisis within next two decades and will have neither the cash to build new infrastructure nor the adequate water required for its growing economy and rising population”

NASA Report- NASA has recently reported that there was a major  ground water crisis in North India. Report further stated that there was a  huge ground water resource for the aquifer that had vanished in last few years.

In this connection two examples in Indian context of future utilisation of water will suffice to flag the growing need of water and as such ways and means to conserve/ store the available water. First example is the  water needed for microchip manufacture; it is on an average 0.038 cubic meter (CUM) per chip. It may not sound much when considered in isolation but when it is considered in terms of mass production it will be quite a lot of water. The second example is the  need of water for sanitation related to Open Defecation Free (ODF), which is by an estimation is about 0.38 CUM per toilet. Thus for an ODF society it will be plenty of water. India is planning to go for microchip manufacture and toilets have already been built in substantial number of houses in India. As such need for water is going to rise exponentially in India.

Map No 1 – Water Resources of India 

Water Resources of India

Average rainfall in India is 1170 mm. Therefore on account of rainfall and snow melt the yearly runoff (surface water +ground water) is 1869 BCM. Of this quantum of water the potential estimated utilisable surface water is 690 BCM. This is just 37% of the rain water because over 90% of rainfall is during the months of Monsoon and the capacity of storage in case of India is quite limited. India has approximately 130 reservoirs with a storage capacity of 56.94 BCM as in June 2021.  In this context it is worth noting that India receives as much as 34% of water from trans- national Channels, like Indus, Sutlej, Karnali, Arun and Brahmaputra, for which India is the middle riparian.

As mentioned in the introduction the ground water resource is 432 BCM. Now on demand side it was 552 BCM in 1997 and that is likely to go up to 1050 BCM in 2025. Here it is worth noting that at the time of independence in 1947 for a population of 400 million, the per capita water availability was over 5000 CUM/capita/year which is likely to become 1500 CUM/capita/year by 2025. The significant part of this statistics is that it is quite close to 1000 CUM/ capita/ year which is actually the threshold given by the UNDP for a country to turn water stressed.

Map 2 – Annual Average Rain Fall in India

Issues Related to India’s Water Woes

India’s Population is 16% of the world’s population.  In addition, India is also home to 31% of the World’s cattle population. However, to feed the two categories, besides catering for the needs of industry and agricultural sector, India has only 4% of  the world’s fresh water resources. Thus there is need to do better water management so that the optimal utilisation of available resources. Some of the issues which impact India’s need for water are as mentioned in succeeding paragraphs.

Impact of Geography on the Water Availability– The region has a number of rivers which are trans-national in nature, especially those originating in Tibet. India in most cases is middle/ lower  riparian. The important among are Indus and Sutlej in the West, Certain part of Kali Gandaki, Budhi Gandaki and the larger part of Trishuli River, which are the major tributaries of the Gandaki River system in Nepal, major tributaries of the Koshi river such as the Sun Koshi/Bhote Koshi, the Tama Koshi and Arun in the Central Sector and Brahmaputra in the East. It may be noted that around 34% of water is received from the trans-national channels. There are implications of being a middle/ lower riparian, because in that case, water sharing substantially depends on the upper riparian state. China in most cases is upper riparian state. She has her own water problems and as such,  is making all efforts to draw water from common rivers with impunity in contravention to the UN Convention on on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses-1997. The Chinese actions are not only impacting India but also adversely impacting the water rights of Pakistan in case of Indus, Nepal in case of Gandaki, Trishuli and Kosi river systems and Bangladesh in case of Brahmaputra. There is a need to make a common front to tackle China.

Impact of North Indian Rivers being Glacier fed Rivers– Here the geography of the area plays an important role. The alignment of Himalayas is North-West to South-East. As such most of the glaciers are Sun facing. As such, melting is quite common. Also Himalayan glaciers are located at altitude which are quite high. This twin phenomenon makes these glaciers dirty glacier and the melted snow brings lot of silt with them. Thus siltation is a major issue with these rivers and reservoirs made on the rivers get silted up quite substantially and quite quickly. This has a major implication on their capacity of the water storage as well as capacity of rivers to hold water, Because in first case the depth gets depleted and in second case the trapezoidal section of the river over a period of time gets changed to saucer section. This results into rain water getting wasted out. By an estimate almost 93% of the rain water goes waste. The impact of the rate of siltation on some of the reservoirs is as follows:-

Table-1: Impact of Silt on Storage Capacity@

Ser No

Name of the Reservoir

Rate of siltation above the Normal$

a.

Bhakra

140%

b.

Hirakud

142%

c.

Maithon

809%

d.

Ghod

427%

e.

Salal*

43%

f.

Pong#

550%

*- over 90% depth is filled with silt.

#- 2359 cubic metres square km, as against planned 429 cubic metres square km

@- India has 1911 Cubic Km of fresh water. It needs to be appreciated that India has  16 percent of the world’s population, has only 2.5 percent of the worlds land area and 4 percent of the world’s freshwater resources at its disposal. As far as storage capacity is concerned India has just about 129 days of capacity in 1100 reservoirs which are likely to go up to 4406 by 2050. Here it is significant that 93%of rain water gets wasted out presently.

&- Thus there is a need to enhance the storage capacity and also create an institutional mechanism to regularly desilt the reservoirs.

Impact of Ground Water Extraction– it is on the rise. Green Revolution was initiated in 1960ies to achieve food security. It entailed improvement of the Agricultural production in the country by leveraging technology and using better seeds. However, the green revolution put greater demand on ground water as it was an input for optimisation of agricultural produce. For exploitation of the ground water number of borewell has grown from one million to two million. The Central Groundwater Board of India estimates that about 17% of groundwater blocks are overexploited,  5% are critical and 14% are in semi-critical stage. Worst affected regions are North western, Western and Southern region. Water table in Maharashtra and Punjab is going down excessively. In this connection it may be appreciated that Bengaluru had 262 lakes in 1960 and now only 10 lakes are left. Similarly in 2001 Ahmedabad had 137 lakes, which have now been reduced to just 65. Current overexploitation rates pose threats to livelihoods, food security, climate-driven migration, sustainable poverty reduction and urban development.  The World Bank in collaboration with the Government of India has been working to  improve groundwater management in affected areas. Some of the measures introduced have been;  watershed management programs, aquifer recharging and tank rehabilitation activities. Some more measures that further need to be taken are;  surface water harvesting through farm ponds and check-dams, introduction of drip irrigation systems and sprinklers to economise available water sources and growing less water intensive crops for improved management and reduced depletion. In addition on supply side more wells are being dug and Amrit Mahotsav Sarovars are being planned. A stronger regulatory mechanism needs to be put in place to restrict the demand of water.  In this connection it needs to be noted that only about 14% of the overexploited blocks in the country are currently notified. A more robust Local regulatory mechanism to address the threatened blocks before they reach the “overexploited” stage is important to check the depletion. Finally community participation can definitely check both; pollution as  well excess exploitation.

Pollution of Water Sources– Groundwater pollution and the effects of climate change, including erratic rainfall in the drier areas, put additional stress on groundwater resources which serve about 85% of domestic water supply in rural areas, 45% in urban areas, and over 60% of irrigated agriculture. Ground Water contamination in India is due to high concentration of fluoride, arsenic, iron, manganese, uranium and radon in selected states in India. As per a report of the Central Ground water Board in 2014, around 66 million people were drinking water with high fluoride content. This resulted into dental and skeletal fluorosis. Arsenic contamination is another cause of worry (Below 60 metres of depth excessive quantity of Arsenic is there in the soil) in states of West Bengal and Bihar largely due to excessive extraction of ground water. In recent times even states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka are also getting affected. Arsenic contamination leads to arsenic poisoning and manifests in the form of cancer. As far as surface water is concerned, a study done by  the Central water Commission in 2015 flags that the waters of many of the rivers  in India are having heavy metals, such as     lead, arsenic, copper, cadmium, mercury and nickel that are highly toxic and carcinogenic. In broader terms it can be said that 80% of water bodies are polluted in India due to untreated sewage getting drained into water bodies directly, runoff from the agricultural sector (Due to excessive use of chemical fertilizers and pesticide),and unregulated discharge from small scale industries. It is estimated that the waste water generated by cities of over one lac pop is 16662 million litres. Cities and town located  on the banks of Ganges alone contribute 33%of waste water.  As per  a report of the Central Pollution Control Board pub in Sep 2021, India generated 72,368 MLD (million litres per day) whereas the installed capacity of sewage treatment was 31,841 MLD (43.9 per cent). Of this installed capacity, developed and operationalized capacity was only 26,869 MLD (84 per cent). Thus a major investment is needed to do the sewage treatment before it is drained into the water bodies. It may be noted that some of the sewage after treatment can also be used for purposes other than drinking and cooking to reduce the requirement of the fresh water.  The high pollution of the water is taking its toll on the health of people. Annually about 37.7 million Indians are getting affected by the  waterborne diseases. About 1.5 million children are dying because of diarrhoea. It is also causing diseases such as cholera, tuberculosis, dysentery, jaundice etc. In fact, around 80% of the stomach ailments in India happen because of consuming polluted water. The impact of people getting sick is that  around 73 million working days are getting lost. The cost of this loss in monitory terms  is around US $ 600 million a year. It may be noted that the central legislation to control the water pollution in India is the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 . It prohibits the discharge of pollutants into the water system in excess of laid down standards. It is alarming to note that Crimes under The Air and The Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act are on the rise and have increased 286 per cent in a year (2020 compared to 2019), according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB)’s latest report. Thus an all-out effort needs to be made to reduce the water pollution with a view to enhance the water output.  

Leakage and seepage– Urban water cycle is an interplay of changing land use pattern, increasing surface runoff and piped water supply and sanitation system. The leakage  from an average household is around 45,500 litres of water every year. Further about 10 per cent of homes have greater losses and almost 400 litres or more per day  gets lost. In overall terms nearly 3.4 trillion litres of water gets lost annually in India. A survey was done of 71 cities and the leakage noticed was as tabulated below:-

Table-2: Leakage From Pipelines

Ser No Classification of City Supply in MLD Leakage in MLD
1. Metros 16591 6150
2. Class -1 2775 706
3. Class-II and III 123 7

Impact of Climate Change- As per The Synthesis Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change  Fifth Assessment Report, the climate change over the twenty-first century is projected to reduce renewable surface water and groundwater resources significantly in most dry subtropical regions. In many regions, rainfall pattern and melting of snow perennial snow/ ice  are altering hydrological systems, affecting the quantity and quality of water resources. Due to climate change the rain fall patten is changing. The limited availability of storage space in India is further impacting the water storage. Fall in surface water availability due to changing rainfall pattern increases dependency on groundwater. Groundwater level has been receding at an alarming rate in many parts of India, as a result of over-extraction and changing seasonality and intensity of rainfall#. Losses in the water body in some of the important areas has been as tabulated below:-

Table-3: Percentage Loss of Water Bodies

Ser No

Location

Percentage loss@

1.

Ghaziabad

75

2.

Delhi

62

3.

Lucknow

46

4.

Srinagar

50

5.

Udaipur

50

6.

Mumbai

25

@- Hyderabad in last 12 years has lost 3245 hectare of wet land.

#- Shortage of storage space results into almost 93% of rain water getting wasted out.

Changing climate has significant impact on water — direct or indirect — leading to serious social and economic issues in highly vulnerable countries such as India. Some of the important effects are as follows:-

●    Depletion of surface water resources due to changing rainfall pattern.

●    Groundwater level has been receding at an alarming rate in many parts of India, as a result of over-extraction.

●    In the coastal zones, this is leading to salinity intrusion in aquifers.

●    Water scarcity causes conflicts over allocation and clash between people.

●    In view of the above Climate change impacts water security and by implication the food security. A recent study by the International Food Policy Research Institute has concluded that  more than half the world’s population and approximately half of global grain production will be at risk due to water stress by 2050. As a consequence thousands of farmers in India are commiting  suicide in the last few decades.

●    Impact on agriculture Failure in agriculture affects rural economy.

●    Disasters like floods and prolonged droughts will be a reality at a greater frequency and higher intensity . As a consequence of climate change most of rain water (80-90%) during Jul- Sep pd. It is ever increasing due to climate change and also due to erratic monsoon pattern. No wonder 90% of districts of India suffer from drought, 40 million hectare in 83 districts get flooded. Floods contaminate freshwater supplies, heighten the risk of water-borne diseases and create breeding grounds for disease-carrying insects. In addition damage to property, physical injuries and disrupt the essential services. A lack of safe water can compromise hygiene and increase the risk of diarrhoeal disease, which kills over 500,000 children every year.

●    Aquatic species are generally more sensitive to water temperatures, and the stratification of water bodies can be impacted by climate change, affecting fish growth and viability.

●    Shortage of reliable water often leads to disputes over water sharing in transboundary water resources.

●     There are several other socio-economic and environmental issues related to climate change impact on water that affect human life such us hiking prices of food and water unaffordable to the poor resulting into conflicts over the allocation of water and food, migration, violence, setbacks in tourism, wildfire and loss of species and large investments for adaptation and mitigation.

●    Hydropower may become more expensive when the rainfall pattern changes. Reduction in river runoff due to low rainfall or sedimentation in rivers and reservoirs due to erosion and sedimentation caused by intense precipitation can significantly affect hydropower generation. States such as Kerala are already facing this situation.

Waste Water Management– 80% of water reaching household leaves as waste. There is a need to find ways and means to enhance water resource efficiency, which also entails ways and means to utilise waste water.

Cases in Uttar Pradesh

Water Resources– Uttar Pradesh is good with water resources. There are 15 Major rivers, namely; Babai, Chambal, Ganga, Ghaghara, Gomti, Hindon, Karmanasa, Ken, Sarayu, Sharda, Sindh, Son, Tamsa and Yamuna. There are 15 more tributaries of these rivers. Uttar Pradesh has almost 125 non glacial minor rivers, which over the years have almost died due to poor watershed management. Similar is the state of village ponds, which are largely in a state of disuse which has implications with respect to water availability in the villages and the ground water recharge.

Map-3- Showing Rivers in Uttar Pradesh

Rainfall– The state gets highest rainfall (34% of south west monsoon rainfall) in July month followed by August (31% of the south west monsoon rainfall). June and September receive 14% and 21% of south west monsoon rainfall, respectively. About 89% of annual rainfall receives during the southwest monsoon season only. As per Met Monograph No.: ESSO/IMD/HS/Rainfall Variability/27(2020)/51, It can be seen that Gorakhpur receives the highest rainfall over other districts during all the South-West monsoon months and the season.

In general, districts over the North-East of Uttar Pradesh (except Khushi Nagar and Ballia) received high amount of rainfall and districts over South-West of Uttar Pradesh received less amount of rainfall. District with minimum amount of South-West monsoon and annual rainfall is Rae Bareli.

State of Reservoirs- India has a total of 91 Major reservoirs with a total capacity of 257.812 BCM. The Central Region comprising of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh has 12 Major reservoirs having a capacity of 42.11 BCM. Finally Uttar Pradesh has small and big Dams numbering 97.

State of Ground Water and related Management Issues

●      Due to continuous heavy abstraction of dynamic ground water in various parts of the state, aquifers have depleted to alarming levels causing widespread decline of water levels.

●      One of the major issues, is the poor watershed management, which results into rain water not reaching the reservoirs, rivers and ponds. Also silting of the waterbodies does reduce the water holding capacity of the water bodies. Consequently, rain water which would have been gainfully utilised goes waste.

●      Almost half of the state is in grip of Ground Water Level decline. Lucknow city is typical Example of the  “Hydrogeological Stress‟ with ground water level decline is being observed as 50 cm to 1.5 metres/yr. Similar trends are also being observed in cities like Kanpur, Bareilly, Meerut, Varanasi, Ghaziabad.

●      In prominent Urban Centres, Ground water levels have depleted to alarming levels even to an irreversible stage. Almost all states/ municipal  authorities/ Ministry of Urban Development and Poverty alleviation have come out with guidelines for the rain water harvesting (RWH) in their respective jurisdiction, however, regrettably these laws/ guidelines are not being taken very seriously. As per the recent directions of the CM, the  roof top rain water harvesting is required to be established in all government and semi government buildings of the six major cities, namely; Meerut, Bareilly, Lucknow, Prayagraj, Gorakhpur and Jhansi. In quantitative terms it works out to be 2,19376 buildings . While work has completed in 11000 buildings it is still going on in balance of the buildings. What needs to be done is to ensure that only in these six districts but rule is strictly implemented in balance of 69 districts. Further, not only in Govt and semi Govt buildings but even in the new constructions in the private sector it is enforced.

●      A typical bureaucratic problem is impacting the progress on optimising the water resources available to the state, wherein  different line departments are developing, utilizing & conserving this resource in a fragmented manner, as there is no Institutional Mechanism in the state. There is a definite need to address the water management in an integrated manner.

Current Scenario

●      Bundelkhand & Vindhyans are facing acute water scarcity, due to low groundwater availability. 63 blocks are prone to drought.

●      Large areas in eastern U.P. are affected with the problem of Waterlogging/rising water levels, which is causing salinity.

●      Ground water contamination/pollution is also widely reported from the state.  Till 2018, UP used to generate a total of 7124 MLD of sewage but had the installed capacity of treatment of only 2646.84 MLD or 37.2 percent. By 2021 the State has set up 104 sewage treatment plants (STP) to treat 3,298.84 MLD. As can be seen that it is still less than the 50% of the sewage generated in 2018 and it can easily be concluded that the quantity of the sewage in the meantime might have gone up therefore there is a need to address the sewage treatment on the war footing.

●      Rejuvenation of village ponds has commenced but so far only 56,466 ponds have been rejuvenated- almost 37.5% of rainwater gets wasted- need to do much more than what is being done

Key Problem Areas which need Immediate Attention

●     Over-exploitation/indiscriminate extraction of ground water in both the urban and rural areas, causing significant decline of groundwater levels.

●      Waterlogging /shallow water levels affecting the agricultural productivity.

●      Poor availability as well as relatively poor development of ground water in hard rock areas of Bundelkhand-Vindhyans.

Contamination/pollution hazards related to ground water resource.

 

Map-4: state of groundwater

Regionwise status of Ground Water Resource in Uttar Pradesh-The state of development of ground water is either over exploited like in Western region or is under developed, like in Bundelkhand.It is as tabulated below:-

Table-4: State of Ground Water

Region

Annual Ground Water Recharge (million hectare meter)

Part used (million hectare meter)

Ground Water availability for future use (million hectare meter)

State of Ground Water development (%)

 

Eastern

2.54

1.68

0.86

66

Western

2.58

2.05

0.53

79

Central

1.45

0.96

0.49

66

Bundelkhand

0.44

0.19

0.25

43

Total

7.01

4.88

2.13

69

“Thus,  Ground water, both; in rural areas and also in the urban areas is in critical state, both; qualitatively and also quantitatively and needs immediate attention”. 

Recommendations

Integrated Demand and Supply Side Solutions-  These offer the best option for sustainable use. Therefore always work on a comprehensive approach to solutions.

Policy Initiatives-

●      area specific guidelines

●      Regulatory body

●      De-silting agency

●      Time bound completion and thereafter sustained use of sewage treatment plants with a view to ensure quality of water being drained into rivers. These can also be used to generate revenue by selling the manure generated as an outcome of treatment and also these can be used to generate power to use that for its operation.

●      Involvement of village panchayats

●      Involvement of industry and NGOs.

Conservation of Available Resources– In this connection a 5 R formula is recommended, which entails; Reduce wastage, Reuse used water, Recharge ground water, Recycle waste water  and Respect water. In this regard, better building practices / storage appliance within the house, addressing of leakage seepage and measures for the effective utilisation of waste water, are some of the measures  which need to be considered.

Watershed management– rejuvenation of non-glacial rivers, rejuvenation of village ponds needs to be dealt in a comprehensive manner. Use of MNREGA should be part of implementation strategy.

Creation of Additional Storage Capacity

●      Geo tagging of all ponds and maintaining their records.

●      Preservation of wet lands

●      Gram Panchayats / town area committees be made responsible for maintaining ponds

●      Use of MNREGA for the repair and maintenance of ponds

●      Better watershed management with a view that the rain water flows into the reservoirs and also create additional water storage capacity.

Addressing Pollution of Water Bodies– some of the measures are; soil conservation, lesser use of chemical fertilisers, disposal of volatile organic waste like paints in a manner that they do not find way to reach water bodies, enforcement of anti-pollution laws, use of Territorial Army for specific water bodies/ specific area and awareness generation among the people.

Need to Check the Declining Trend of the Ground Water- One of the most important measure in this regard is strict implementation of the RWH schemes. In this connection it needs to be appreciated that for an average rainfall of 1000 mm approximately  4 million litres of rainfall can be collected in a year for an acre of land. Also, there is a need to regulate uncontrolled development and extraction of the ground water. Need to have a law to conserve and regulate the exploitation of the groundwater.

Cropping Pattern– instead of only wheat and rice more emphasis on coarse grain and fruit production be given. Simultaneously, animal husbandry be given due thought- that will help in rejuvenating the agricultural land besides reducing load on wheat and rice.

Community Participation- It is the most important aspect of resource management and in this connection role of Panchayats, NGOs and Civil Society is very important. Therefore a planned awareness strategy needs to be prepared and implemented.

Author Maj Gen AK Chaturvedi, AVSM, VSM (Retd)  is a retired Indian Army General Officer who has served in Jammu & Kashmir, NE, Andman Nikobar on various appointments at Command and Army HQs. . He is Vice Chairman of Think Tank, “STRIVE”,  after retirement is pursuing his favorite hobby of writing for newspapers, journals, and think tanks.

Disclaimer: The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the organisation that he belongs to or of the STRIVE.

11 thoughts on “Optimization of Water Resources-Maj Gen AK Chaturvedi, AVSM, VSM (Retd)

  • May 8, 2022 at 9:31 am
    Permalink

    Dear Gen Chaturvedi, this indeed is a thorough and detailed analysis of the water situation in our country. Kudos to your efforts in bringing out this veritable master analysis.

    The future seems uncertain as to the vagaries of a very rapidly changing environment primarily because of the global warming. The scientists predict freak and extreme weather events to be more frequent as the temp rises in the world. The telltale signs of such events are seen everywhere. This year the maximum temp of many decades have already been broken all over India.

    Last year the rains were good however they were sporadic spells of very heavy rainfall rather than the consistent rains. Such heavy spells generate more runoffs, more floods and less absorption as ground water. So there is a need to ensure more and equally spread absorption of rain water to recharge the aquifers. The govt needs to listen to the scientists and environmentalists in protecting and rejuvenating our forests. We can only hope that our children and their children will be able to enjoy the nature the way we could. And your articles to sensitise the govt on such issues will go a long way in ensuring that.

    Great effort sir.

    Thanks
    Col Sanjay Mohan

    Reply
  • May 2, 2022 at 4:02 pm
    Permalink

    Yes it is true that scarcity of fresh water can be made up by treating sewage water. However it needs energy which India is not well endowed with. However, a comprehensive solution using renewable can be put in place. Alternatively sewage/ storm water can be utilised for purposes other than drinking. A combination of the two strategies can give an optimal solution. Teaching of water discipline is a good point. Although I have included in Community Response but it could be a separate point. Regards

    Reply
  • May 2, 2022 at 4:01 pm
    Permalink

    Yes it is true that scarcity of fresh water can be made up by treating sewage water. However it needs energy which India is not well endowed with. However, a comprehensive solution using renewable can be put in place. Alternatively sewage/ storm water can be utilised for purposes other than drinking. A combination of the two strategies can give an optimal solution. Teaching of water discipline is a good point. Although I have included in Community Response but it could be a separate point. Regards

    Reply
  • May 2, 2022 at 12:24 pm
    Permalink

    A very comprehensive paper that highlights the issues. That we need to do more is very clear. We need to approach this holistically in which this paper will be a great help, to get a better perspective .

    Reply
    • May 2, 2022 at 12:50 pm
      Permalink

      Thanks for your very encouraging comment. Now a word about silt being part of dirty water. Although I have clarified it separately on your WhatsApp wall but for the information of others. Silt is rich in nutrients and as such is quite useful for enhancing Afro produce if used to improve the quality of soil. It is also useful to check efflorescence in building construction as it helps to neutralise nitrate salts present in saline water or bricks made by using saline water. The word dirty has its context in Glaciology where glaciers which come done with silt are referred as dirty glacier. Warm regards

      Reply
  • May 1, 2022 at 11:21 pm
    Permalink

    A very well written article, where you have taken up each and every aspect of the problem separately and deliberated very well on it, suggesting the solution of the problems.
    You may like to Include supplementing supply of palatable water by treating the sea/ ocean where possible, particularly drought hit area of Maharashtra.
    Secondly teaching a good water discipline to young children at school level, stop the wastage of palatable water.
    Strict rules for the use of sub soil water by every one.
    A great article.

    Reply
    • May 2, 2022 at 3:58 pm
      Permalink

      Yes it is true that scarcity of fresh water can be made up by treating se water. However it needs energy which India is not well endowed with. However, a comprehensive solution using renewable can be put in place. Alternatively sewage/ storm water can be utilised for purposes other than drinking. A combination of the two strategies can give an optimal solution. Teaching of water discipline is a good point. Although I have included in Community Response but it could be a separate point. Regards

      Reply
  • May 1, 2022 at 9:48 pm
    Permalink

    Very well researched and articulated.

    Reply
  • May 1, 2022 at 9:26 pm
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    Some suggestions. Ground water mgmt at micro level by recharge bores, recharge wells and recharge trenches with every bldg. Recharge drains and recharge bores under road berms and dividers to prevent flooding on roads and waterlogging in addition to recharge of grnd water.

    Reply
    • May 2, 2022 at 8:10 am
      Permalink

      Useful suggestions at execution level. Certain modifications to laws related to building construction and road construction may be considered for implementing these suggestions. Municipal authorities may consider getting involved with all such planning. An outcome of ignoring these suggestions has come up in the form of Gomti River front, wherein baffle wall made is so deep that besides causing water logging rain water getting into river is also blocked, resulting into enhanced pollution in the river.

      Reply

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