TODAY -

Water scarcity- nature's retaliation

Chloee Konsam *

 Water scarcity in and around Singda Dam area  as on 23 April  2014
Water scarcity at Singda Dam as on 23 April 2014 :: Pix - Deepak Oinam



While going through the newsfeed on my Facebook account, I came across a post on the ongoing issue of water crisis in Manipur, which caught my eye. This may not be news to the people of Manipur who faces water problems on a daily basis and this may not have been the first time such issues hit the social media.

I was deeply moved by the news and a string of anxiousness gripped over me. Saddened by the calamity I have tried to highlight the augmented problems of water crisis that we are facing today and the plight of the future, if we do not react now.

Primary source of water in India is south west and north east monsoons. Monsoons, however is erratic and the amount of rainfall is variable in different parts of our country. In states like Rajasthan, which is the driest state, where the daily temperature reaches as high as 48 degrees in summer, the governmental and the societal institutions have collaborated to revive the traditional system of rainwater and they are successful so far. Other states like Kerala and Karnataka are quite successful too.

But in Manipur, the issue has been augmented at a greater level with the decrease in ground water level and reduced rainfall. It has been noted that the water level of singda dam, the Imphal River and the Iril River has decreased drastically over the few months. According to a report from 22nd april 2014, (the sangai express), quality of water sold by the private firms is also doubtful and not fit for domestic consumption.

It was also reported that 12 bottles of 20 litre capacities costs rs. 120, which only costs rs 70 few weeks back. This proves that the Loktak Lake can be taken as an unfortunate blessing to our state. If the problem persists, this could be taken as an illustration where the basic fundamental right has been neglected. Now the real argument is- has the state government machinery failed to provide a solution and what are the next best alternatives available to the tackle the problem?

Looking at the present scenario, the government appears to have failed to take a decisive role. Its policies are obsolete and the local ministers keep getting away by neglecting the very foundation of their duties. We all know that natural resources are limited but are people really aware of its implications? Water scarcity can be treated as a corollary to global warming. According to some international relations theorists, factors of global environmental issues may give rise to deepening ethnic and social tensions in the developing societies.

A state which is sensitive towards these rising issues should scrutinize explicitly the implications of water scarcity and its disastrous effects. At the local level, interactive sessions such as people-to-government approach programmes should be set up where the local authorities with the civil society organizations could educate and create mass awareness about the issue.

The second way could be by monitoring the estimated records of the amount of water that the state uses. It should collect accurate data and come up with a strategically well planned proposal that will be efficient in the long run. The other way would be by employing more state induced techniques and innovative methods to conserve water as much as it can. It is about time the local ministers and leaders have stopped lobbying for more power and take significant steps to deal with the real problems that the people are forced to face today.

In 2007, in its fourth Assessment Report, the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) predicted that by 2080, 1.20 to 3.20 billion people will be experiencing water scarcity and an estimated 200-850 million people throughout the globe will be forced to migrate to more temperate zones by 2050 due to water shortages, sea level crisis and deteriorating pasture land. Is this the kind of future that we have so kindly anticipated for our next generation? Think and react!


* Chloee Konsam wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer is an undergraduate student at University of Delhi and can be contacted at chloee(dot)konsam(at)gmail(dot)com
This article was posted on April 26, 2014.


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