Water is a precious resource. However, defying popular belief, the water resources on Earth are finite. Understanding the importance of water conservation, Aquaguard Har Ek Boond, an initiative by Republic Media Network, powered by USHA was started to increase awareness about the water conservation and management. This World Water Day, a panel consisting of Water Champions from across India discussed the ground reality and success or failure of the water conservation movement.
India has the second largest population in the world and yet, has access to only 4% of the world’s freshwater resources. While water becomes a luxury to few, a large sect of the population does not have access to clean drinking water. There is an urgent need for public awareness and effective water management to curb the water crisis that India is facing today. Water champions Maithili Appalwar, CEO of Avana group and Amla Ruia, founder of Aakar Charitable Trust discussed the water related issues faced by Indians with Debi Goenka, renowned environmentalist.
23-year-old Maithili Appalwar has been working for the water conservation movement for a long time with a special focus on the farmers in the drought prone areas of Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh. The Yavatmal district of Maharashtra has the highest rates in farmer’s suicide due to a lack of a fixed income, as they don’t have access to water all year round. Maithili and a group of volunteers have managed to conserve large amounts of water in almost 5000 artificial ponds so that the farmers have a source of water for the entire year. Today, Jal Sanchay, a company headed by Maithili has managed to conserve more than 50 billion liters of water.
Amla Ruia, fondly known as the Water Mother has been dedicatedly working towards making the lives of farmers and rural dwellers in India better. Aakar Charitable Trust founded by Amla Ruia has researched and constructed water harvesting structures like check dams that prevent drought like situations. Ruia is an exponent of traditional water harvesting system and she has been promoting the same in the rural parts of Rajasthan, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and many more states. Due to her efforts and the communities’ newfound knowledge about effective water management, the farmers have become financially independent.
Environmentalist Debi Goenka notes that due to the climate change and negligence on the part of citizens, the water crisis situation is quite grave in the country. In order to avert the crisis from becoming worse, we need to increase the green cover.
According to the water champions, there is a need to control and optimize rural water consumption as almost 80% of the water is used in villages for irrigation. In recent times, technology has been helping in magnifying the benefits of traditional water conservation methods and it can be used more effectively for better water management. Most importantly, India has the largest amount of rainfall in the world yet captures only 8% of the annual rainfall. Adapting to practices like Rainwater Harvesting can make a huge difference in averting India’s water crisis.
You can also make a difference by taking small steps for saving water. Take the Har Ek Boond pledge to make every drop of water count. Log onto www.republicworld.com or give a missed call on 1800 120 887788.