The universe has recognised the significance of water for human life. Not just scientific but there is a cultural importance of water in India as well. Its tradition encourages the ritual of worshipping rivers. Be it the mighty Ganga or the Yamuna, Narmada or Godavari, Brahmaputra or Mahanadi, Cauvery, or Krishna, each has its own spiritual significance. Interestingly, almost every civilization was formed on the banks of a river.
Despite the huge importance of this resource, the approach towards water management and its importance is quite disappointing. That is probably because Indians are blessed with a large amount of water which had led us to become ignorant towards the importance of water.
Since India has plenty of water, it can turn India into a global power. Thus, to establish India on the map of global power, water management is required.
Lack of groundwater is a hurdle for agriculture
Reportedly, out of the 17 countries dealing with a water crisis, it is India that receives the maximum annual rainfall. Notably, other countries belong to the arid and semi-arid regions of Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia. These regions receive almost half of India’s annual rainfall and have fewer natural water sources.
Any guesses why? Well, it is because of the excessive misuse of groundwater. The condition of groundwater is just disheartening. The groundwater level is decreasing dramatically day by day. This has resulted in an agricultural crisis. Can you even imagine what will happen to a country’s economy which is mainly dependent on agriculture? It will collapse due to a lack of water.
Thus, we must plan rational exploitation following our optimum requirement for use. The new government needs to create a map showcasing the availability of water from various resources like surface, pond, lake, reservoir, groundwater at every village.
People need to educate themselves about the extraction of water for various uses. Quantum of water availability needs to be monitored regularly and the map must be updated accordingly. Further development should be done based on the map only.
If India manages to do that, it will not only benefit our farmers but will also ensure the establishment of India as an agro-based economic superpower.
The impact of water scarcity in various industries
You might be shocked to know that a huge amount of India’s water is filthy. As per the latest assessment by the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI), a government-run think tank, “Nearly 70 percent of all of the country’s fresh water — in the ground or on the surface — is contaminated. India’s rivers, lakes, and aquifers are more polluted than the waters of any other major nation.”
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The scarcity of water has quite a negative impact on different industries as it leads to production cuts or worst it can lead to an existential crisis. 70% of India’s energy comes from thermal power plants. Of this, about 59% is from coal-based plants. In terms of water consumption, power plants consume 1700 to 7000 m3 per MW per year water.
Imagine if a 1,000 MW power plant has to shut operations for one day due to the unavailability of water. The potential revenue loss (assuming Rs 3/unit) would be nearly Rs 5-6 Cr.
To curb the problem, direct wastewater reuse needs to be regularly practised. The exchange of waste products for the mutual benefit of two or more businesses is also known as “industrial symbiosis.”
In industrial symbiosis, all members profit from the arrangement by either reducing the inputs necessary in their production process (i.e., water, organic material) or by reducing the costs of wastewater treatment. In case, the wastewater cannot be brought in direct reuse, decentralised wastewater treatment systems can be practised lessening the level of contaminants to a level that is safe for reuse.
Since India is witnessing a major revolution in various industries, the practice to reuse wastewater will help them work even more efficiently. This, in turn, will reflect positively on India’s economy.
Given the above evidence to support the claim that water can help India become a superpower, it can be stated that the government and the people of India need to realize the importance of water and work in the same direction as well.