New Delhi: With the theme, ‘Leaving no one behind’ this World Water Day aims to advocate for the promise of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development wherein the Goal 6 talks about ensuring the availability of safe water for all by 2030. In 2010, the United Nations (UN) recognised the right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as a human right. This human right entitles everyone, without any discrimination, to sufficient, safe, and affordable water for drinking, sanitation, hygiene, washing clothes, and cooking.
However, today as per an estimate of the United Nations, 2.1 billion people around the world are living without safe water at home. According to Dr. Rajendra Singh, the Waterman of India,
The victims of water crisis are mostly the marginalised groups which include women, children, indigenous people, scheduled castes, people with different abilities and refugees. This is because these groups are often overlooked and face discrimination in access to clean water.
While access to safe water is a challenge for many people around the globe, here are five stark facts about the water crisis in India:
A Large Population In India Is Facing High Water Stress
According to NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India), 60 crore Indians face high to extreme water stress. NITI Aayog estimates that by 2030, the country’s water demand is projected to be twice the available supply, implying severe water scarcity for hundreds of millions of people.
Lack Of Access To Safe Water Cause Staggering Number Of Deaths Every Year
As per an estimate of NITI Aayog, about two lakh people die every year due to inadequate access to safe water. As much as 75 per cent of total households do not have drinking water on premise and 84 per cent of rural households do not have piped water access.
Lack Of Water Puts More Burden On Women
As per an estimate by the International Development Enterprises (IDE), across India, women spend 150 million work days every year fetching and carrying equivalent to a national loss of income of Rs. 10 billion.
More Than 10 Crore People Consume Drinking Water With Excess Fluoride
According to Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, about 10.06 crore population living in 12,577 habitations in different states and union territories are getting drinking water with excess fluoride. Ingestion of excess fluoride can cause fluorosis which affects the teeth and bones. As per World Health Organisation (WHO), the optimal level of fluoride for preventing tooth decay is 0.7 milligrams (mg) in every liter of water and any level more than 1.5 mg is dangerous.
As much as 70 per cent of India’s water is contaminated due to Lack Of Water Management
At present, India treats only 30 per cent of its water and reuses a negligible amount leading to water pollution due to discharge of untreated waste water, says NITI Aayog. As much as 70 per cent of our water is contaminated making India rank 120 among 122 countries in the water quality index. Globally, according to the Water Waste report 2018 of International Water Association, 80 per cent of all wastewater is discharged into the world’s waterways where it creates health, environmental and climate-related hazards.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollution, clean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.
According to Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, the central government is working on the Atal Bhujal Yojna, an initiative to map and recharge aquifers and conserve groundwater in collaboration with the World Bank