The Indian state of Punjab is known to be the land of rivers with 5 major rivers flowing across the state. However, today the state is dealing with a looming water crisis. The partition of the country led to the partition of water bodies as well, bringing down the supply of water in the state. Furthermore, Punjab took up the responsibility of being one of the largest food producing states in the country after the green revolution that took place in the 1980s.
Rivers in India have been a source of freshwater for multiple purposes. All the major civilization in the Indian subcontinent are named after the rivers that they prospered around. In India, these water bodies are considered sacred and are being venerated for centuries. The major rivers of India are the Ganga, Yamuna, Saraswati, Kaveri, Narmada, Kshipra and Godavari, and almost all these water bodies are severely polluted.
On a global scale, 70% of freshwater is withdrawn for irrigational purposes. India’s withdrawals for agriculture is the highest in the world. For a long time, India depended on flood irrigation as the Indian agriculture is dependent on monsoon. However, after noting the damage caused to the crops due to the high intensity of water flowing during flood, civil structures like dams were constructed to curb the flow.
Growing crops like paddy, which is a water-guzzling crop, Punjab has over-exploited both its ground and surface water tables. In order to turn around the situation, the state will now have to shift towards sustainable cropping patterns. The citizens have already implemented changes in the irrigation patterns to ensure water conservation.
Punjab’s water resource department is playing a significant role in supplementing the government’s efforts in addressing the water crisis situation. There is still a dire need for more plans by the government. Although, the state government is working with Israel in planning ways to regulate and manage water resources, there is a need for public participation as well.
India is facing a major water crisis. The cause for the same is the ever-increasing population, lack of adequate planning and agricultural, domestic and industrial waste. Clean drinking water is becoming a far-fetched resource for more than 163 million people in the country. Despite the situation, according to reports, the population of this country wastes 45 liters of water every day. In recent times, every drop of water has become more precious. Each individual needs to be mindful of the usage of water.
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