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Water Crisis: Can it ever be dealt effectively?
A visitor from a nearby planet demanded its travel agent the total refund of its money for "Tour to Earth." When asked about the reason, the alien irately said it has been disillusioned as in the blue planet the creatures struggle for water, contrasting and contradicting its imagination and perception that life would be beautiful on the earth which has more than 70% of its surface filled with water.

It further added in its claim that its visit to India a developing country in Asia, the largest continent on earth, the land of sacred rivers, and generous monsoons, water is a major crisis of its creatures especially who live in its rural areas which is sometime a threat to their own survival.

Mrs. Alien added that she was really dejected and felt her journey was spoiled when she saw woman on earth in general and India in particular walk long distances everyday to fetch water to fulfill their daily needs. Later they concluded that the life is best at their own planet which has no water at all.

I don't know whether they were successful in getting back the refund or not but undoubtedly I do agree with the extraterrestrial creature's repugnance as the reality is "there is water crisis on our earth in general and in our India in particular".

Let me talk in Indian Context... It's a harsh reality that even after enjoying the status of a largest democracy for more than 65 years we're still not able to deal with acute water scarcity in our country.

According to a report published in a leading news paper few months back at least 50% Bharat walks 5km a day for a bucket/pot of water. And the worst affected people are the women, particularly in rural areas. Due to the severe paucity of water, agriculture is majorly hit that is pushing men to migrate to cities to earn livelihood.

In our society women are considered as the water providers. Reminiscent to my childhood days during my occasional brief visit to villages of my Nanaji or Dadaji, I used to see women carrying pots on their heads to fetch water from a nearby well, tube well, pond, river or other water sources. Even little girls were asked to carry little pots to learn water fetching. But things have not been changed so far as even today same scene can be seen. Also this has been a reason behind girls' drop out from schools.

In urban areas also water scarcity is a major issue.Women standing in long queues and shouting at each other is not a very unfamiliar scene in these areas.

If in most of the rural areas water crisis is perennial and becomes stringent in summer and absence of monsoon in urban areas though relatively less acute ,but still it is a major crisis.

Let's analyze the matter in present context. At present there is no sufficient water in storage to deal with even a single crisis. Isn't it unfortunate for us that after more than 65 years of independence we are not able to manage one irregular monsoon? Everywhere there is a panic like situation.

I stay at Mumbai, an economically well off city in India. It gets reasonably good monsoon every year but the Deputy CM Ajit Pawar has warned that with monsoon playing truant, there is a drought-like situation prevailing across the state. Even BMC is staring at a 20% water cut to be imposed in coming days, courtesy major lakes in the city touching their lowest drawable level and rain god remaining intransigent.

I really wonder why this financial capital of India never thought of more reservoirs, catchment areas and rain water harvesting projects. If this is the situation of Mumbai in particular and Maharashtra in General, just think of the places which are rain deficient.

The fact is that water is precious, natural but a scarce resource that was never given a proper intent to manage it. It's a finite resource, as though more than 70% of earth surface is covered with water only 2.7% water is usable in terms of drinking, agriculture and other essential uses.

In such a situation we need to understand that conservation of water is an urgent need. Call of the time is more water conservation projects in rain efficient areas and water distribution system in rain deficient areas should come up urgently. And interconnection of rivers should not be just a talk in the air, but it should be an actuality on the ground.

The new government has asked states to ready contingency plan for water supply. It's good that at least it has taken serious note of situation and acting to reduce the magnitude but we need permanent solutions. After all, water caters a big part of our need of power in terms of food (agriculture) and electricity.

Water is elixir of life. The right to water is at the heart of the right to life guaranteed in Article 21 of the Constitution. And it becomes responsibility of the government to ensure its citizens' right to life by ensuring minimum need of water throughout the year, irrespective of monsoon and seasons especially in villages in particular and urban areas in general.

I hopefully feel that the new government will have a serious take on this issue and I look for some major steps to deal with water crisis on a war basis. Else...I think looking toward aliens to rule the land will be a better idea!

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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