Friday, March 22, 2013

water water water on water day

Today is the 20th World Water Day and the mission which started 20 years ago, still continues with millions of people without access to clean water even today. But do we know how much do we actually get from rain and melting of snow Vs our requirement? What is a optimum ways of meeting the minimum needs of water for the entire population? And lastly, what is this capturing every water drop project? Let us get into these details.
India gets approximately 4000 Billion cubic meter (BCM) of water every year from rain, melting and all other natural sources. Now let us see how this 4000 BCM water is consumed:
  • 700 BCM: Lost in evaporation, balance: 3300 BCM.
  • 700 BCM: Lost during flow on ground, Balance: 2600 BCM
  • 1500 BCM: Flows into the sea due to floods, Balance: 1100 BCM
  • 430 BCM: Ground Water Recharge, Balance: 670 BCM
  • 370 BCM: Present Utilized Surface Water, Balance: 300 BCM
So, this 300 BCM is the water that can be harnessed with some small amount of 370 BCM which can be treated and reuse. Now we are clear that this 300 BCM should be our main target for conservation of water.
Another important resource is the 1500 BCM which flows into the sea during floods and may be distribute it to areas which are affected by water scarcity. In all, floods in India affect 260 million people while drought affected 86 million people. This means, diverting some part of 1500 BCM from flood affected areas to drought areas which will help a massive part of our population amounting to nearly 350 million people. We will also save 2400 crores which are wasted due to damage caused to the crops, properties & people. Also, 1200 crores incurred by government as short term relief measure can also be saved.
Now that we know our country’s water structure in the simplest form, what are the solutions? Interlinking river basin project will play an important role when we aim to conserve this 1500 BCM. Government of Goa was most probably India’s first state to interlink river basins. Zuari River with Kalay River was interlinked. A national level planning committee to successfully conduct studies & implement interlinking in coordination with state governments. Water harvesting at rural and urban level will improve water table & recharging of wells.
In a country where India’s most religious river, Ganga is kept clean by it’s followers, Sikh’s have successfully completed this task over Hindus! Kali Bein, a river on whose banks it is said that Gurunanak is said to have received enlightenment. In years, the river turned into a choked drain. Baba Seechewal mixed the religious sentiment of people to derive participation and clean this 160 km long polluted river on an average 3000 volunteer per day. He is a inspiration for many people in clean Ganga campaign. Cleaning Ganga will not bring better environment for India but also provide thousands of liter of water to places it touches & passes through.
Finally, what is this project? When you all read this piece, you must be anticipating what will this blog do? Let me lay my plan for you guys. I’m writing this book firstly for urban conservation of water, how to harvest water in a multi-storey building for individual,  simple plumbing which won’t even take 15 mins to learn but same hundreds of liters etc and on a large scale solution of STPs & city level harvesting project. The citizens of city are now a days full of activism and hopefully will understand the solutions that need to be demanded from their representatives. I will use this blog to also publish interviews & views of eminent experts who have a say in this field.
Hope you will support me in this project & spread this project to all those you know.
Avi Sharma.

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