11 states are facing a water emergency. It is a crisis
Sreelatha Menon | May 17, 2016
Are you aware of the MIT study which projects acute water stress in India 35 years from now?
Why wait for 35 years? Even now 11 states are facing a water emergency. It is a crisis. And we should consider ourselves lucky if we survive till 2050. It is a terrifying situation.
Where is it more severe?
Almost entire southern India is affected. It is severe in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Maharashtra. In Andhra Pradesh, Rayalseema region is affected and it is most severe in Anantpur. As for Telangana, every district is reeling under drought. Even in rain-fed Kerala most districts are short of water, and Palakkad is most severely hit.
What are the reasons behind this crisis?
All aquifers are overdrawn and there is no recharge. That is the simple reason. Police keep reserve force for safety, but for water we have no reserve bank. Earlier our aquifers were full. People used to get water from a shallow depth, but today the ground water levels are going lower and lower.
How can this be rectified at this stage?
See, we are getting water even now from underground. But this water is 10,000 to 60,000 years old. It is fossil water. Unless this water is recharged with fresh inflow, what will we be left with?
What is your plan of action?
I have with me experts and geologists who have worked on creating a draft bill which would pull us back from the verge of a water disaster. But for that the government should pay heed. We have the support of Ekta Parishad and Anna Hazare too.
READ: Parched throats demand water law to quench thirst
READ: Scary scarcity of water
(The interview appears in the May 16-31, 2016 issue)
The Art of Conjuring Alternate Realities: How Information Warfare Shapes Your World By Shivam Shankar Singh and Anand Venkatanarayanan HarperCollins / 284 pages / Rs 599 Professor Noam Chomsky, linguist and public intellectual, has often spoken of &ls
The brutal second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in India has left a significant death toll in its wake. Health experts advise that the imminent third wave can be delayed by following simple measures like wearing a mask and engaging in social distancing. However, near the end of the second wave, we witnesse
Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari has emphasised deciding driving hours for truck drivers of commercial vehicles, similar to pilots, to reduce fatigue-induced road accidents. In a Na
In a step towards Telecom Reforms which aim to provide internet and tele connectivity for the marginalised section, the Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communica
Raising concerns over rising seawater levels and climate change, Mumbai First, a 25-year-old public-private partnership policy think tank, has written letters to Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, minister for environment and climate change, tourism and protocol, Aditya Thackeray and Mumbai munic
After the recent announcement of the government guarantee for Security Receipts (SRs) to be issued by a public sector-owned National Asset Reconstruction Company Ltd (NARCL), there is a surge of interest around this desi version of a super bad bank. The entity will acquire around ₹2 trillion bad debts fr