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Sansad TV: The Global Debate: Global Water Crisis - Energy And Water Development Corp

Sansad TV: The Global Debate: Global Water Crisis





The World Water Week 2022 was marked this year on the theme, Seeing the Unseen: The Value of Water. In 2010, the UN recognized “the right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as a human right that is essential for the full enjoyment of life and all human rights.” The human right to water entitles everyone, without discrimination, to sufficient, safe, acceptable, physically accessible and affordable water for personal and domestic use; which includes water for drinking, personal sanitation, washing of clothes, food preparation, and personal and household hygiene.

Global water crisis

  • 785 million people lack access to clean water. That’s one in 10 people on the planet.
  • Women and girls spend an estimated 200 million hours hauling water every day.
  • The average woman in rural Africa walks 6 kilometers every day to haul 40 pounds of water.
  • Every day, more than 800 children under 5 die from diarrhea caused by contaminated water, poor sanitation, and unsafe hygiene practices.
  • 2 billion people live without access to adequate sanitation.
  • 673 million people defecate in the open.
  • One of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals aims to provide universal access to clean water and sanitation by 2030.

How to manage water available?

  • Centre, states, people and all stakeholders need to take action in this regard.
  • Vigorous programmes on water efficiency are required like energy efficiency.
  • There is an urgent need for coordination among users for aquifers.There should be laws and contracts for sharing of aquifers.
  • Groundwater mappinghas started in India.
  • There should be aRiver Basin Authority for sharing information among states as most of the rivers in India pass through different states focusing on conservation.
  • At the village level, there can be decentralized management of water at community level.
  • Charging money for efficient use of water(as in case of electricity).
  • Changing the cropping pattern, crop diversification and encouraging water use efficiency in agriculture by moving towards food crops from cash crops.
  • Coordinated efforts among states for management of ground water at a localized level.
  • Encouragingrain water harvesting, check dams

Impact of this on women and girls:

  • Women and girls bear the greatest burden because in the developing world they’re most likely to be responsible for hauling water to their homes.
  • They spend an estimated 200 million hours collecting water every day. The average African woman walks 6 kilometers to haul 40 pounds of water each day.
  • This daily grind saps her energy for other activities and robs her of the opportunity to spend this time with her family, or pursue school and income activities to improve their lives.
  • Girls who attend school until adolescence are more likely to drop out when they start menstruating unless their school has clean water, latrines, sanitary supplies, and support for hygiene behavior change.
  • Helping young women to manage menstrual health is not only about providing appropriate facilities, but also includes addressing social norms.
  • At childbirth, the lack of clean water, sanitation facilities, and proper hygiene contribute to high rates of disease and death among mothers and newborns in the developing world.

Way Forward:

  • Bigger program on water efficiency as energy efficiency – Setting standards for water management.
  • Ensuring minimal pollution in both urban areas and industry.
  • Fixing water crisis will need well balanced policies, meticulous strategy and a massive amount of public participation.
  • Sugarcane consumes a disproportionate amount of water and water-stressed regions must make an effort to move away from the crop.
  • Comprehensive restructuring of India’s Central Ground Water Board and the Central Water Commission in order to create a new 21st Century management authority.
  • Right to water should mean a high priority to drinking water

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