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What are the remedies to handle water scarcity and to avoid draught situation in the country?


In efficient use of water for agriculture. India is among the top growers of agricultural producer in the world and therefore the consumption of water for irrigation is amongst the highest. Traditional techniques of irrigation causes maximum water loss due to evaporation, drainage, percolation, water conveyance, and excess use of groundwater. As more areas come under traditional irrigation techniques, the stress for water available for other purposes will continue. The solution lies in extensive use of micro-irrigation techniques such as drip and sprinkler irrigation. The problem has been compounded with increased concretization due to urban development that has choked ground water resources. Water is neither being recharged nor stored in ways that optimizes its use while retaining the natural ingredients of water. In addition, the entry of sewage and industrial waste into water bodies is severely shrinking the availability of potable water. Marine life is mostly lost in these areas already. This is the genesis of a very serious emerging crisis. If we do not understand the source of the problem we will never be able to find sustainable solutions. A simple addition of a 'water free' male urinal in our homes can save well over 25,000 liters of water, per home per year. The traditional flush dispenses around six liters of water per flush. If all male members including boys of the house use the 'water free urinal' instead of pulling the traditional flush, the collective impact on the demand for water will reduce significantly. This must be made mandatory by law and followed up by education and awareness both at home and school.

Physical Water Scarcity- Physical water scarcity occurs when there isn't enough water to meet demand. Roughly 20 percent of the world's population now lives in physical water scarcity, which The World's Water: Volume 8 defines as areas in which water withdrawals exceed 75 percent of river flows. Another 500 million live in areas "approaching physical scarcity." This could be the result of dry or arid local conditions, but distribution also plays a role. The Water Project points out the Colorado River basin as a prime example "of a seemingly abundant source of water being overused and over managed, leading to very serious physical water scarcity downstream".

There are several available solutions able to effectively address water scarcity. These include water reuse, storage, management, conservation, and numerous water treatment technologies such as desalination. Typically, one or more solutions or approaches must be adopted in tandem to be effective, whether the solution is adopted by a water-reliant corporation or a government entity. The crux of the issue is balancing available supply with demand or consumption. Adding water supply through reuse or desalination, for example, isn't a panacea. Without water management and strategies for adequately addressing demand, which continues increasing, the solution is incomplete. In some areas, including Australia and California, groundwater or aquifer recharging is being explored to help bolster water supplies. The process involves the injection or infiltration of excess surface water into underground aquifers. In conjunction with such projects, some watersheds are being restored with native plant species in wetland areas to support aquifers' natural recharge capabilities. Water may be treated before it is injected. The water can be stored underground until it is needed.

There are numerous other water storage options available, including dams, lakes, reservoirs, and other types of surface water storage. Tanks can also be used for temporary water storage. Storing the water on the surface has any number of challenges associated with it, including flooding, pollution by natural and manmade sources, and losses from evaporation or seepage. Over-drawing these resources can mean there are inadequate supplies in drought periods. Such systems allow wastewater - once viewed as a useless, disposable commodity - to become a valuable resource. RWL Water, which has worldwide experience in the advanced treatment of wastewater and process water for reuse, has created systems for water reuse across various industrial, agricultural, and municipal processes. Its water treatment technologies are capable of producing pure and ultrapure water for reuse in various applications, including power generation, beverage bottling, food production, and agriculture irrigation.

RWL Water designed and built a complete, multistage on-site water treatment system with zero liquid discharge for the Compania Minera Dona Ines de Collahuasi SCM, or Collahuasi Copper Mine. This extensive mining operation extracts and refines copper and molybdenum ores. The operators sought to effectively treat the mine wastewater and maximize water reuse. The facility treats 216 cubic meters an hour. The report illustrates the many ways in which the UN system is identifying opportunities to mainstream the drylands agenda into the policy-making process. It sets out a common vision and agenda for UN-wide action on dryland management and its role in addressing climate change and food security through a positive development and investment approach.

- Aparna Tiwari