India is the largest user of groundwater in the world. According to the World Bank Statistics, India uses an estimated 230 cubic kilometers of ground water per year. This number is over a quarter of the global total. More than 60% of agriculture and 85% of drinking water supplies are dependent on groundwater in our country.
However, such exploiting use of groundwater has led the aquifers to reach unsustainable or depleting levels. If the current trends continue, 60% of all of India’s aquifers will be in critical condition in 20 years, suggests World Bank report, Deep wells and Prudence. It is high time we become aware of the situation and figure out ways to recharge the groundwater levels.
India gets about 125 cm of rainfall on an average annually. However, most of that rainwater ends up being wasted. If this rainwater is harvested and utilized effectively, the ground water can be saved as well as recharged and there will be more surface water available as well.
The government has made it mandatory for the new buildings to have a functioning rooftop rainwater harvesting systems in 18 of India’s 28 states. About 50 percent of the funds for India’s rural employment act are being used for water harvesting systems, said the Minister for Rural Development to the Press Trust of India.
The problem is identified, the action has been taken but the execution of it has not been as successful as expected. In Mumbai, the water supply operator had made it mandatory in 2002 for new buildings with an area of 1000 square meters to have rainwater installed. The rule has been adapted and implemented too. But lack of proper inspection and monitoring has led to poor maintenance and implementation of the system.
Water is an indispensable resource for life to exist on earth. Unfortunately it is not a renewable resource. Instead of saving few bucks by escaping the rules, it is better to follow them to reap larger benefits in the future.
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The CSR Journal Team