The water levels are lower than ever in Tamil Nadu and it is a red alert call for the entire nation! Thanks to the global rise in temperature, water crisis is something that the entire world is most likely to suffer from in the coming years. This crisis has already hit India and the severe shortage of water in Chennai is a glaring testament to that!
While some are calling the situation in Chennai a catastrophe more than a crisis, hundreds of people are queuing outside with pots and buckets to collect any water that they can manage to get their hands on. Some restaurants have already shut down, while malls have closed their toilets. Corporates in an attempt to cut back on the water usage are urging their employees to work from home. The situation is an alarming one and should be a wakeup call for all the cities across the country.
What led to the water crisis in Chennai?
The main reason behind the acute water shortage is the drying up of reservoirs and lakes that provide water to the city. Studies show that compared to last year, the lakes have only 1% of the volume that they did! Owing to a frightening heat wave that has been going one for quite some time now and lack of rainfall, the Selva Chinthamani Lake is almost completely dry. Dead fishes have been washing up to the sides and the situation is more frightening than ever. While there are some who are pointing fingers at global warming as the main culprit, some reports show that this is also a man-made crisis.
From floods to a drought
It was in 2015 that Chennai faced a terrible flood. Wetlands and lakes are a part of the city’s topography. But due to the rapid urbanization, many of these had been paved over which had led to accumulation of water, but prevented it from percolating into the water table, thereby preventing replenishing them. No proper measures had been taken by the state government either to take measures to harvest rainwater for future use. This, combined with the rising temperatures this year, Chennai is facing one of the most dreadful droughts it has seen.
A national and global issue
Niti Aayog, the think tank of the Federal Government, has presented a rather staggering data. Studies show that no less than 21 Indian cities will be facing acute shortage of water in the coming year, of which our capital New Delhi and the silicon valley of India, Bengaluru, top the list! This crisis is not just a national issue, but a global one. A lot of countries in South Asia are most likely to suffer from water crisis. While China is slowly investing in lands for water, Pakistan and Bangladesh are accusing India of being unfair in their use of water from the rivers.
The new age crisis and of the worst possible kind has hit us! With water sources gradually drying up, we need to take measures both at a personal as well as public level to store water. Water conservation and rainwater harvesting is of the utmost necessity.
Do your bit, save your planet…