The U.N. World Water Development Report ranks India 133rd among 180 countries for water availability. India almost hits rock bottom when it comes to water quality. Falling water tables, India’s unpredictable monsoon rains and its huge and growing population have created a severe water crisis in the country.
Water Conflicts, at all levels, are on the rise – both in numbers and intensity. Countries, regions and States are adopting increasingly belligerent stances to lay claim over water resources – static or transient- in their areas. User groups accuse each other of stealing their water – it’s agriculture vs. industry vs. energy vs. domestic use. All users, however, have no compunctions joining hands to snatch water from its natural abode – it’s All vs. the Environment! On top of that, pollution and global warming add their bit to speeding up our fast drop to water scarcity.
Where will it all end?
A looming crisis brings out either the worst or the best of people. If people decide to put in their best – can success be far behind? Being a die-hard optimist – I believe the latter. And that’s the guiding sentiment with which we, at FORCE, work.
It’s time now, to revive the Gandhian philosophy of living simply, in tune with nature with each community planning for self sufficiency and sustainability. Greed must be replaced with need based consumption, each one must think for the other, saving for self must not be at the cost of sharing with those in need.
This requires a basic change in attitudes – something that is easier said than done! As a starter, we could start with a simple three point agenda. First – Reduce our demand for fresh water by adopting water conservation practices; second – increase its locally available supply by adopting rainwater harvesting and water recycling. The third agenda, perhaps most important task is – to stop playing blame games. Let’s not waste time and energy on blaming each other for inefficiency and callousness. Instead let’s just focus on doing whatever little we can to alleviate this crisis.
With this attitude, FORCE has been working towards creating Water Secure communities – in the National Capital Region of Delhi and now in Mumbai. As a first step, we’d like to see the NCR ‘Water Secure’ by 2015.
The route we have adopted for doing so is through a mass movement that supports local bodies in water conservation and influences the government to adopt more water friendly policies. For this, we’ve adopted a Partnership approach because sustainable change cannot happen without the involvement of all sectors of society. We are getting the citizens, government, business and technical experts to jointly work for a better life for all. We offer end-to-end support to citizen groups interested in adopting water conservation practices.
We believe that seamless knowledge integration – from principles of business management, to practices from many hundred years back, to advances in science & technology – is the quickest, most effective route to creating a Water Secure society.
I look forward to having you as a partner on this road to Water Security for all.
Aao, Jal Sanchay Karein, Boond Boond Dharti Bharein…