‘India’s ‘worst water crisis in its history’ is only going to get worse’. There are various research reports and analyses to indicate that by 2030, the country’s water demand is projected to be twice the available supply. If not addressed, the water scarcity is also likely to affect the GDP of the country accounting for almost a 6% loss by 2050.
According to studies, approximately 2,00,000 people die every year due to inadequate access to clean water, which is “only going to get worse” as 21 cities are likely to run out of groundwater by 2020. Around 600 million people are already facing a severe water shortage, according to a government think tank. In the long term, the undersupply is likely to become more acute, as the demand increases with the 1.4 billion population growing at a rate of around 1%.
The situation remains alarming and it is unfair to leave it to the policy makers only, to address the situation. Some states like Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh have already taken situation in their hands and are doing a good job of managing their water resources in anticipation of the looming water crisis.
However, comprehending the importance of conservation of this precious resource, corporate houses have stepped up to participate in the movement of improving the water situation. The DS Group (Dharampal Satyapal Group) is committed to improve water security in areas identified as critical and water vulnerable. The Company has undertaken water conservation as the mainstay of its CSR initiatives.
DS group has initiated water conservation project in Sikar Rajasthan. The group has constructed over 22 check dams in the area with total water harvesting capacity to hold is 411587 Cu M of water since 2013. The objective was to construct water harvesting structures in an area, which is arid and water deficit. These structures block drainage line and create series of check dams so that when it rains, the water is stored. If it overflows in one dam, it goes over to the other, and so on, until eventually all the dams are full.
The group has also taken up the project of drought mitigation in Mahoba, Uttar Pradesh. The severe drought every year in the country causes distress. In FY16, more than 250 of 600-plus districts across 11 states affected about 330 million people. Over 40% of agriculture in the country depends on adequate and timely rainfall.
It is therefore critical to explore ways to make farming sustainable by reducing its dependency on monsoon only and constructing water bodies like farm ponds to store and manage precious water. The group initiated a program to establish a model of farm ponds to allay the impact of drought in future by re-instating the old water structures for water availability throughout the year and increase the ground water level.
In an effort to provide safe drinking water to a large population comprising rural, semi-urban and urban population, Earth Water has stepped up with a unique solution. The company has built over 2,500 plants over the last 3 years which include water and wastewater treatment plants like reverse osmosis plants, sewage treatment plants, softeners, filtration units and pressure boosting systems to various corporates, institutions, industries and government organisations.
The machines have applications in large public places, such as railway stations, bus depots, government-run hospitals and rural community centres. About 1,945 water vending machines (WVMs) are currently operational or under execution across 12 states. It touches and improves the lives of nearly 3 million people every month through water vending machines, and supply over 46 million litres of safe drinking water every month.
However, the efforts by the corporates and government would be successful only when we as a society start considering water as a resource and not take it for granted.
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The CSR Journal Team