It is envisaged that in the next 20 years, crippling water shortages will hit many parts of India. In combination with the rising rate of climate change causing the sea water to come in, into low lying areas of Bangladesh resulting in turn into the huge influx of refugees into India, perhaps it is time for a rethink on key issues related both to water conservation, to sea water defences and to the possibility of millions of refugees flooding into India if Bangladesh floods. (But we will address the issue of refugees coming into Bangladesh in a separate blogpost)
There is also the question of worsening floods in India related to various factors including rising population, climate change and the inability of the soil to soak up water like before but we will address that in a different blogpost.
What’s the relation to National Security?
When people won’t have water in the not too distant future, there are going to be problems. One of those could be that there will be actual riots over water in the future. This could easily be taken advantage of by our neighbours across the border. These things can also, quite easily, be given a religious colour by insiders unfavourable to the country causing further issues.
It is envisaged that water shortages will hit India pretty hard in the future with the increasing need for water related to a rise in the adult population in all categories and other issues. In the past, water shortages have hit almost all major cities including Chennai (quite recently). Is it just global climate change causing a increasing trend in the temperature, reduced monsoon rains or is it being caused because of decreasing tree cover or all three is one point in question.
Water conservation measures:
Rain water harvesting facilities need to be put in place in a monitored and controlled fashion such that the completion certificates of newly built buildings actually do not get given unless and until RWH is actually in place.
Desalination plants vs Sewage Treatment plants:
Desalination plants using Israeli technology should be available to us and this may well be environmentally more sound as related to previous, the question which will need to be asked is whether it’s actually got a better carbon footprint than STP facilities.
STP facilities have been in place for at least a decade if not more, the President’s house has one too, for a variety of reasons, these plants have only found favour since 2013/14 or so in major cities (Fadnavis Govt).
Do STP plants have a better carbon footprint? I personally think so but can this water be deemed fit for drinking purposes? Again I think so BUT if the idea does not find favour, at least let’s use it in malls for non drinking purposes. The idea needs implementation, either STP or Desalination plants … but on a war footing either way, if what has happened in Chennai (earlier in Mumbai) is not to be repeated elsewhere.
Conclusion to part 1:
Water is such a precious commodity that it’s going to really become an issue the world over Cape Town and Karachi are recent examples of why this blog is not some doomsday prediction. If we are to beat this crisis in the future, the planning is going to have start right now, not in 5 years.
Watch Mumbai: Paani Mafia here: