[9:54 PM,20/07/2021]Priyanshi: Current Scenario of Water Resources in India
Water resources are sources of water that are useful or potentially useful to humans. Water resources come in many forms but the three major forms are saltwater, groundwater, surface water. Although our earth is called the ” Blue Planet” as 70% of the earth is covered by water yet only 2.5% of the world’s water is fresh, while 97.5% is saline being oceans. Of this small percentage of fresh water, only 0.3% of this freshwater is available from rivers, lakes, and reservoirs, 30% from the groundwater while the rest is stored in distant glaciers, ice sheets, mountainous areas, places that we hardly access. The demand for water from various water users, namely domestic, municipal, agricultural, horticulture, recreation, power, and industrial sectors are increasing.
Now for discussing the current scenario of water resources, we will be discussing two things the availability and the quality of water resources. Firstly, discussing the availability factors, the renewable freshwater resources of the country are only about 4% of those of the world. As in many countries, the water resources of this country are not evenly distributed in space and time. Although some water is received from the upstream countries, precipitation is the main source of water availability. India is an agricultural country and a greater share of the population lives in rural areas. There prevails so much inadequacy of water resources in some areas whereas there is excess supply of water resources in other areas. This much inequity in distribution leads to so many problems. One side of the country is facing floods whereas another side is facing drought , these two opposite phenomena are hitting the country simultaneously. The increased pressure is spilling over the groundwater resources as well because of unhydrological uncertainty growing groundwater contamination problems. Our government is trying to solve this problem that exists due to inequity in distribution of water resources by working on certain projects like transferring huge volumes of water from one basin to another whether there is a lack of water resources.
If we talk about the quality of water resources then we must be aware of the fact that with increasing population, the amount of wastewater discharge also increases. This poses a crucial problem of water pollution to rivers as well as groundwater and thus meeting human water needs and sustenance of aquatic ecosystems remain one of the greatest. Indian rivers such as Ganga, Yamuna are showing a very poor state of water quality in many stretches. Also, the groundwater contamination by arsenic in West Bengal and fluoride contamination in Rajasthan is posing a serious threat to mankind as the drinking water supply is at the stake of great hydrological risk. Arsenic poisoning and fluoride contamination are becoming major bottlenecks in safe drinking water supply and health. Thus water quality management is the most complicated task.
Appropriate water management plans are required to be adopted by the industries to reduce wastewater, water scarcity and to have less stress on the water resources so that they could be used for other essential drinking water supplies. This will facilitate water accountability to industrial consumers and in turn, it will be a significant contribution to water resource planners and for the sustainability of resources as well.