New Delhi is a city in India that is facing constant water shortages. The city residents have problems of accessing clean and quality water. The demand for water in New Delhi is currently estimated to be 800 MCD while all the available water sources can supply an estimated 650 MGD. It explains the frequent water shortages. There are major disagreements between Haryana and New Delhi regarding how to share the water and the dispute has never been solved through official channels (Cassen, 2011). There are myriad causes and contributing factors to New Delhi’s escalating water problem. The first contributing factor to the water problem in New Delhi is the high rate of growth of slums in different parts of the city. The high population growth in New Delhi has left thousands of people in the city with no reliable supply of clean drinking water neither can they access the sanitation services (Cassen, 2011).
Another major factor that complicates the problem in New Delhi unique is the depletion of ground water table. Because of the high rate of urbanization, the penetration of the rainwater into the ground has reduced significantly. Therefore, the recharge of the ground water has been gradually diminishing (Parr, Arnell, McMichael, Martens, Kovats & Fischer, 2011). In the last decade alone, the ground water resources have experienced a decline of between four and ten meters. The bore wells have also been drying out making it hard for the city residents to depend on the ground water. The city also experiences rainfall deficits and warmer climate further fueling the water shortage for the city residents (Kumar, Singh & Sharma, 2005).
The Delhi Jal Board, on the other hand, has failed in its mandate and has been unable to efficiently manage the distribution of water in the different parts of the city. The board has failed in connecting different neighborhoods to piped water. Many localities depend on water tankers to supply them with water that has never been enough to suit their needs. During every summer, the city has to depend on the neighboring states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh for water supply (Gaur, Biggs, Gumma, Parthasaradhi, & Turral, 2008).The city has failed to utilize water from Yamuna River that is strategically located due to poor water management that leads to wastage. The Delhi Jab board has also been unsuccessful in maintaining the water infrastructure in the city leading to pipe leakages and the water lost due to the leakages accounts for over 50% of the total amount. The available 600 waterbodies need replenishment (Parr et al., 2011). The city is also struggling with the problem of the unmetered water supply that also contributes to the water shortage. The city of New Delhi also has no facilities that can handle water treatment properly.
The inefficiency in water treatment has therefore resulted in the lack of adequate potable water because the sewage water cannot be treated to for human consumption in the city. It can therefore, be concluded that poor urban planning and management of water is to blame for the growing problem of water shortages in New Delhi (Gaur et al., 2008). The scenario is, however, a solvable problem if correct methods and creativity are utilized. The people of India can focus on solving the problem of water shortage especially by using methods that promote efficient use of the little available water. Below are some of the solutions that can be devised to combat the water shortage problem (Batchelor, Ram & Manohar, 2013).
The first solution is the use of proper Water regulation mechanisms including intensive metering and rationing of water using regions. The undertaking will ensure that every region of New Delhi is supplied with water say at least twice a week depending on the rationing schedule (Batchelor et al., 2013). The move will ensure equitable distribution of the precious resource that is water. Also, the water management board should ensure proper piping has been installed across all areas in the city of Delhi. The undertaking is to ensure that all citizens have access to water whenever possible. There is also an urgent need of proper water line management to prevent leakages. Water leakages can be easily solved by installing leak monitoring equipment in the main water pipeline system. The initiative will help conserve water wastage by up to 20%, as leakages are one of the major water wasters (Batchelor et al., 2013).
The government should also embark on a campaign to sensitize the citizens on the urgent need to conserve water at all cost. Most people do not realize that a lot of water is lost at home on a daily basis which can be conserved for future use. For example, shaving, cleaning, taking long showers and watering plants with running water leads to massive loss of water if summed up in all households in Delhi (Batchelor et al., 2013). Water can be alternatively conserved for drinking purposes. People should be taught on the efficient utilization of the available water. Recycling and reusing of water can also be implemented since not all situations require very clean water safe for drinking. Activities like car washing can utilize water from other sources like laundry water and bath water then use minimal quantities of clean water for rinsing (Batchelor et al., 2013). Still, the government should step up water conservation efforts such as making it a requirement for all property developers, homeowners, and industries to build water-harvesting facilities to cope with shortages.
According to Kummu, Ward, Moel and Varis (2010), water reservoirs should also be constructed on regular intervals just outside major cities so that rainwater is harvested for use during times of shortage. More dams should also be constructed to store more water that is wasted during rainy seasons. Another technology that can be applied in the conservation of water is recycling water from sewage treatment plants for drinking (Kummu et al., 2010). It is a technique that the Indian government should seriously consider investing in because it has been used elsewhere where it has been proven viable. The process involves passing the water through ordinary sewage treatment plants and then through the second plant with reverse osmosis technology (Kummu et al., 2010). Finally, the water is passed through another system containing ultraviolet light and hydrogen peroxide so that any particles that had escaped the previous systems can be broken down.
By doing this, clean water will be available for drinking purposes. The lifesaving bottle, an invention of Michael Pritchard that cleans dirty water instantaneously (Kummu et al., 2010). The bottle uses a pumping mechanism to pump dirty water through a tiny 15-nanometer filter that cleans it of any bacteria and virus. It is an invention that should be widely advocated for in Delhi to provide more sources of drinking water. The lifesaver bottle also eliminates the infrastructural costs associated with supplying water to remote locations. Dry bathing is another application on the conservation of water to increase the availability of drinking water (Kummu et al., 2010). The technique uses a lotion that is blended to get rid of bodily odors, oils, and bioflavonoids. The lotion just requires skin application, and it’s just as effective as a normal bath. A dry bath saves up to 4 liters of water per person, which is a lot of water when added up (Kummu et al., 2010). The water can be used for drinking and food preparation.
Another method I creating communal laundry, cleaning, sanitation and bathing centers. This will help to centralize the water systems. In turn, the process will ensure that all the water used will be channeled into recycling for re-use. The move will also help to enhance sanitation levels, manage water-borne diseases easily and recycling will be much easier. Regulated clean water points should be created by the government at strategic points. In this view, the citizens should register for clean drinking water as per family needs (Gaur et al., 2008). The water should be supplied as per need. This will ensure that everyone has access to clean drinking water. Water for other uses other than drinking should be supplied through other means. The undertaking can be done through the creation of parallel water systems, one with pure drinking water and the other with water from alternative sources such as recycled water for other purposes (Critchley & Brommer, 2013).
Continuously maintaining the sewerage, water supply, and recycling systems should be ensured to maintain the flow and availability of clean water at all times. The problem of water shortage keeps on evolving and thus a specific task force should be put in place to analyze and produce solutions related to water problems (Gaur et al., 2008). This will ensure that the problems are dealt with as they come up and that the people are well adapted to cope with the challenges. The government needs to put pressure on the DJB to ensure that water is distributed fairly to all the areas including the slum areas and avoid the tendency of concentrating on the upper-class estates in the town (Critchley & Brommer, 2013). Also, procedures should be put established by the board to ensure that the water distribution is based on supply and demand in such a way that the areas with the highest water demand get the highest amounts of water (Gohari Eslamian, Mirchi, Abedi-Koupaei, Bavani & Madani, 2013). Also the government should assess areas where many trees can be planted as a way of replenishing the ground water level. Besides, the DJB should change the pricing system currently used (Gohari et al., 2013). There should a limit for household water consumption per month and the households that exceed the stipulated amounts should be charged using high rates. The high rates will help encouraging people to conserve their water and avoid water wastage in their homes.
The government should embark on conservation of the main river in New Delhi Yamuna to ensure that the water is safe for human consumption. There should be strict rules preventing people and industries from dumping wastes into the river and the rules should be accompanied by stiff penalties (Gohari et al., 2013). By cleaning the river, more dams can be constructed to collect the clean water and direct it to the neighborhoods that are experiencing a consistent water problem
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