Changing rain patterns and an increase in temperature are being seen and felt by most of us Bengalureans. But we don’t ponder in length about its long term consequences to our way of life. Climate Change is real, and it’s happening!
Water is one of the critical resources which is facing scarcity in the current environmental climate. Given the accelerated rate of melting glaciers, rising rivers, constant encroachments, shrinking catchment areas, an inflow of waste & pollutants, depleting groundwater tables and increase in land abuse through unhindered expansion of human settlements, the availability of water for the masses is under severe strain. Most of the rivers and water bodies across the country suffer from the same issues, but the solutions have been scarce.
Revival and conservation of water bodies need to be accelerated to slowdown the looming water crisis. The increasing urbanization and population density will add to the challenge of conservation. Lakes and water bodies, specifically in urban India, needs more considerable attention to create alternative sources to make cities more water sustainable.
Cities today are dependent on water from rivers which are flowing 50-180 km away to meet their needs, making tapped water more expensive but also highly unsustainable. Quenching the thirst of the fast-growing cities is indeed an excellent opportunity to invest in alternative sources, i.e. revival and conservation efforts for urban lakes, water bodies and rainwater harvesting.
Separating sewage lines from stormwater drains, treating waste/sewage water for reuse, ensuring rainwater reaches the lakes/water bodies via a network of drains and canals, developing a vision for the lakes, creating a stakeholder community for the lakes/water bodies, are all needed to establish revival and conservation programs.
There is a lot which we can from our history when it comes to water conservation. Reintroducing old concepts of open wells, Kalyani’s and watersheds based on the water flow and contours can better our water conservation efforts.
Hard measures have to be taken keeping in mind the long-term implications and consequences of our current water ecosystem. A giant step towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) to make our water bodies secure and sustainable is needed. Water Security can be a reality for all of us if the Government uses a carrot & stick approach by rewarding conservation and punishing excess usage/misuse.