Welcome to Water War In the Offing (Multinational Companies are out to make moolah by owning our rivers, ostensibly to give us water 24×7. There will be a crises in the world, much graver than the crude oil problem. Some time back, an international seminar was organized at Bonn,Germany, were 3000 delegates from 130 countries were present. In the seminar, some startling observations were made that water will be sold the way crude is sold through tanker and pipelines in the 21st century. Wars are being waged over crude. Similarly there will be wars fought over water.
130 core people of the world are deprived of clean potable water This scarcity of water led to business of mineral and packaged drinking water flourishing. Every day, about 6000 die of water-borne diseases. There are as many deaths due to consumption of contaminated water as there were during terrorist attacks on the twin towers. The water crises in India is extremely serious.
97% of water reserve on earth is salty sea waters. 2.5% of the balance 3% is stores in the share of icebergs in the arctic region. This leaves us with just 5% drinkable water Large quantities of fresh water available in the world today, are stored in the massive ponds on the borders of Canada and America. The rest of the world is witnessing the rapidly and consistently depleting stock of water as a result of rising population, urbanization, industrialization and pollution. In several parts of India, the water shortage has triggered riots.
According to a report released by the UN, only 3000 cubic meter water can be available per year for people in Asia. The Indian average is still lower, that is 2500 cubic meter. There is a tradition in eUttar Pradesh that a bride’s marriage is considered solemnized only after she performs puja in worship of a well. Today, in view of most of wells being filled and cemented water tankers are worshiped instead of wells.
About 20 core people of India do not get clean water to drink. Among the water resources available in the country about 80% sources have been contaminated as a result of effluents poured into the waters by industries, or by mixing of dirty waters. Still farmers are advised to prefer cash-rich crops that need more water.
In order to consolidate their vote banks, farmers are offered free electricity that is used to extract water from underground through bore well. This renders thousands of wells useless owing to constant lowering of water levels. It is because of water scarcity that India’s agricultural output has gone down resulting in the country having to import food.
At the time of independence, each village of the country had minimum of one source of drinking water The village that has no single source of drinking water is recognised in governmental parlance as ‘no source village’. There were about 750 no source villages in India in 1985.
In 1996, despite all tall claims made by the government number of ‘no source village’ had shot up 65,000. This implies that the 65000 ‘no source villages’ that had minimum one source of drinking water lost their sources either through drying up of wells or through contamination because of industry waste or gutter water.
When big dams are constructed across big rivers, water flowing underneath begins to dry up, leading to serious water crises in villages along banks. Municipalities of cities release gutter water into rivers without purifying it and this deprives hundred of villages of their source of drinking water Permission given for arbitrary setting up of industries along river banks to contributes to polluting waters. People who drink this contaminated water fall prey to various water-borne diseases. Why are these industrialists, guilty of polluting water meant for drinking by people, go scot-free? why are municipalities allowed to release water into rivers without purifying it?
When India achieved independence, water distribution was under the control of people. Gram Panchayat of every village used to maintain ponds and wells of its village and what is more, rivers were regarded as wealth of Nature. Our government has constructed dams over almost all the rivers and as a consequence, established bureaucratic control over water.