January 2nd, 2016
Image Courtesy: pulitzercenter
“No Water, No life.” How painful is this to read?
Bengaluru and its citizens are nearing to the same pain. Dying lakes and drying bore wells reveal a horrible picture of the water crisis that the city is going through. The rate at which this third most populous city of India is growing, the future looks threatening.
As per a senior hydrologist with the state government, “The average annual rainfall in Karnataka is 1,248 mm. But the estimated 20 lakh borewells in the state draw almost three-and-a-half times of the amount of rainfall received to recharge the groundwater. Hence, it’s no surprise that most bore wells have gone deeper, even up to 1,000 feet, and the ones which aren’t as deep have dried.”
According to the former Additional Chief Secretary of Karnataka, V Balasubramanian, if the current rate of ground water utilization continues, there will be a major crisis in the state by 2025, and the government of Karnataka will have to evacuate half of the city of Bengaluru in 10 years.
The city is also facing an increase in pollution of groundwater in many areas. The reports say that, “The quality of water is deteriorating due to the mixing of sewerage through unlined open drains, leakage from septic tanks, and contamination from industrial wastes.” The facts also show that apart from Bengaluru, many other Indian cities are experiencing water crisis and it is estimated that 30 years from now, approximately one-third of our population will suffer from chronic water shortages.
W H Auden, an Anglo American poet, once said “Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.” We as a nation are sitting on a ticking bomb of water shortage. We are developing, industrialization is increasing but at cost of what? Life may be. Awareness is the need of the hour. Saving planet, advancing economic growth are important but we must also create a balance between climate change, water scarcity, and health issues. Water conservation should be made a habit. Save water, Save life.