A large part of the population is yet to realize that freshwater resources are not as abundant as they are believed to be. Water is an important element for one’s sustenance yet millions across the world suffer from a lack or no access to clean potable water. One of the major reasons for the same can be the unequal distribution of water resources in different parts of the world.
The unequal distribution can often lead to disputes or conflicts over these water bodies. According to the United Nations, water disputes result from opposing interests of water users – public or private. India is a land of many rivers and a multitude of these water bodies are trans-boundary. Even in the rivers running across many states in the country, there is an evident inequality in terms of water distribution.
One of the major examples of the unequal distribution is the Kaveri river that initially ran across the states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, yet today is distributed among 3 states and 1 union territory. For more than a century, the neighboring states have been fighting in the courts expressing displeasure over the allocation of the water. However, the underlying and often neglected issue in this scenario is that either of the state authorities are not realizing that the amount of water in the Kaveri river is majorly dependent on the annual rainfall.
The dispute surrounding the Kaveri river becomes more significant as it starts a movement across the country for equal or equitable distribution of water. Water scarcity is affecting most states in India, in varying forms. Punjab, which is known to be the state of 5 rivers, is also under the threat of a water crisis as the groundwater is over-exploited. Three of the five rivers are flowing into the regions located in Pakistan. The Indus Water Treaty does less to help the situation as the allocation of water is more inclined towards the neighboring country.
The disputes over water bodies are most importantly affecting the distribution of water amongst the population. The administration needs to take proactive measures to ensure that the water from these rivers are distributed amongst states in equitable proportions. In addition, the citizens also need to be mindful of their usage of the water resources.
Every drop of water, today, is more precious as the water crisis in India worsens. The public must take charge to conserve and manage water resources. You can also contribute to making every drop count.
Take the Har Ek Boond pledge. Log onto www.republicworld.com. Or give a missed call on 1800 120 887788