#ENVS2004 The Issue Of Dirty Water In India (4)

Water Supply in India

The major sources of water in this region are surface and underground water. Other sources included desalinization but it was found to be ineffective due to high management cost.


(Ground and Surface Water over a period http://www.arlingtoninstitute.org/wbp/global-water-crisis/606)

Surface water consists of main rivers like the Ganges, Mahanadi, Godavari, Indus and Krishna. These rivers are classified into the coastal, Himalayan, Inland drainage and the peninsular. The Himalayan is formed through melting of the snow and is thus continuous throughout. These rivers form the largest fresh water and flow into the major Asian rivers. Heavy rainfall is experienced in the monsoon period around the Himalayan, results to overflowing of the rivers. Coastal rivers are short and cover small catchment. Krishna is an example of these rivers as it flows to the west. Peninsular rivers flow inland and increase the river volume during the monsoon. Inland rivers on the other hand dry out as they feed silt lakes or become lost in sand. More than 4,000 billion cubic meters of rain is experienced in India annually, as 48% of this quantity feed the rivers ,(World Bank Report, 2005); (Khurana, 2012). In the absence of adequate storage facilities, only 18% of this amount of water is efficiently utilized. During the monsoon, the region expects more than three quarters its annual precipitation.

The major source of drinking water in the region is ground water (Sakthivadivel, 2007). Ground water serves agricultural and industrial purposes. More than 430 billion cubic meters (bcm) of this water is usually replenished by the river and rain drainage although only about 390 bcm is adequately utilized. Increased pumping is much more than the amount of rainfall filing in the water levels, thus ground water levels has been drastically decreasing at an estimated 0.4 meters annually. Human, industrial and agricultural wastes have been seeping into the ground polluting this water. Therefore underground water crisis is an effect of human activities (Hudda).


Reference List:

World Bank Report, 2005. India’s Water Economy: Bracing for a Turbulent Future. Available at: India’s Water Economy: Bracing for a Turbulent Future  (Accessed: 28 December 2015).

Khurana, Indira, and Sen, Romit. Drinking Water quality in rural India: issues and approaches. Available at: http://www.wateraid.org/~/media/Publications/drinking-water-quality-rural-india.pdf (Accessed: 28 December 2015).

Sakthivadivel, S., 2007. The Groundwater Recharge Movement in India.” The Agricultural Groundwater Revolution: Opportunities and Threats. (3nd edition). CABI, Colombo.

Hudda, Sonakshi. River Pollution: causes, actions, and revival. Print. Available at: http://www.janhitfoundation.in/pdf/booklet/river_pollution_causes_action_and_revival.pdf (Accessed: 28 December 2015).


#ENVS2004 The issue of Dirty Water in India (3)

Demand of water in India

As one of the countries with high population, demand of water in this region is quite soaring. More than 800 (bcm) of water has been used for domestic, agricultural and industrial in India annually. This demand is increase to above 1.4 trillion cubic meters by 2050 (Somini, 2006).


(Water demand by sector: http://www.arlingtoninstitute.org/wbp/global-water-crisis/606)

The high population in India requires huge quantities of drinking water, between the urban and the rural populations, which is approximately 6% of the intact demand. Urbanites have a higher demand than the rural residents owing to facilities like washing machines. This category represents above 30% of the total population, whose demand is expected to replicate in the next 30 years. Population growth is approximated to increase the demand for water mainly because majority of the people are expected to move to the city and increase the social class.

As the government is failing to treat polluted rivers, most of the urbanites are resorting to drill underground water, which is also a major cause of depletion of underground waters (Sakthivadivel, 2007). This problem is to affect rural dwellers as 30% of the population in 35 states is lacking safe drinking water. The major need for water for rural residents is for agriculture as the domestic demand is minimal. Agriculture remains to be the major economic sustenance in India despite industrial growth. After 1967, most of the Indians resorted to double cropping with application of improved seeds. Farmers have highly profited but the demand for water has intensified as agricultural production has likewise led to water shortage in the rural region. Water is besides an important element in the manufacturing and textile machines. Their demands have been met by the sourcing of underground water. After meeting their demands, the same water is used to pollute available water in the rivers through disposal.


References List:

Somini Sengupta, 2006. In Teeming India, Water Crisis Means Dry Pipes and Foul Sludge. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/29/world/asia/29water.html?ref=bottledwater (Accessed: 21 December 2015).

Sakthivadivel, S., 2007. The Groundwater Recharge Movement in India.” The Agricultural Groundwater Revolution: Opportunities and Threats. (3nd edition). CABI, Colombo.

#ENVS2004 The issue of Dirty Water in India (2)

Major water Crisis in India

Worldwide, water shortages are daily experienced by at least two billion people. India having a larger population worldwide has a high water demand, which keep increasing at an alarming rate even as the water supply keeps reducing due to mismanagement of the water resources (Sylvester, 1991). Additional contributors to the problem include toxic wastes and over-pumping.


(Sewage pipes directly releasing the waste into a water body in India


Climate variation has further resulted to unpredictable and erratic weather. This is to further affect the amount of rainwater from rainfall and glaciers. The result of reduced water will affect the availability of food, international conflict and intrastate.

Water problem is a human source as India neither has a dry region nor rivers and groundwater resources (Jeyaratnam, 1985). The major contributions to this problem are corruption within the government, human and industrial waste disposal in the water, poor water management, and unclear laws regarding water. These factors have resulted to the available water becoming polluted and balancing between the affluent and the poor, the urban and the rural becoming a great challenge. This water problem in India can be overcome by changing the actions and attitudes of the residents. Instead of relying on municipal water, residents can initiate conservation methods of water during the rainy seasons. Legislators ought to clarify laws concerning water management (World Bank Report, 2005). The government through the management authorities ought to device water recycling and efficiency methods and modify individual’s attitude. Rather than perceiving water as unlimited, management needs to be exercised on water as a scarce product and a right. Decentralization of the sector ought to be developed for the local municipal council to assume control of water in their region.


References List:

Igbedioh Sylvester, 1991.“Effects of Agricultural Pesticides on Humans, Animals and Higher Plants in Developing Countries.” Archives of Environmental Health.

World Bank Report, 2005. India’s Water Economy: Bracing for a Turbulent Future. Available at: India’s Water Economy: Bracing for a Turbulent Future (Accessed: (6 December 2015).

Jeyaratnam, 1985.Health Problems of Pesticide Usage in the Third World. Available at: http://oem.bmj.com/cgi/reprintframed/42/8/505 (6 December 2015).