If the recent reports are to be believed, India is hurtling headfirst towards Day Zero. Several cities will run out of groundwater by 2020. India’s demand for water will surpass its supply resources by 2030. This will affect the quality of life across India and stagnate the country’s development.
The current policy solutions are focused largely on building new infrastructure- laying down of pipes, constructing dams and artificial reservoirs. Existing water bodies- lakes, ponds/tanks, baolis and other such natural or man-made structures- have been left out of the ambit of these policies. However, these water bodies are important to recharge groundwater and also absorb excess rain to prevent flash flooding. They are being lost due to encroachment, dumping of sewage and waste, and a shift from a community-based water-use system to an individual-oriented system that relies heavily on groundwater. Restoring or reviving the said water bodies has become important with the mounting water crisis.
This Policy Brief discusses the problems in relation to the prevalent water crisis in our country, and provides policy solutions that the government and other stakeholders could look into, and benefit from.