2) A new study has found that India is set to become water scarce country by 2025 due to demand-supply mis-match. Analyse why there is demand – supply mismatch and what measures are needed to address this issue without burdening the common man.

Topic:  changes in critical geographical features (including waterbodies and ice-caps)  and the effects of such changes. 

2) A new study has found that India is set to become water scarce country by 2025 due to demand-supply mis-match. Analyse why there is demand – supply mismatch and what measures are needed to address this issue without burdening the common man. (200 Words)

The Hindu

  • Navneet Goel

    India has large availability of water resources but even after that india is set to face a major water scarcity after 2025 because

    1)India is seeing fast growth in population due to pressure is created on natural resources like water.

    2)Improving standards of living is catering to further increase in demand of per capital water need.

    3)Unscientific agriculture like growing Sugarcane in water deficit Maharashtra creates further problem.

    4)unchecked use of groundwater due to various politically motivated schemes like free electricity for tube wells lead to ground water depreciation.

    5)lack of recycling capacity for used water is another problem to be looked on.

    All these lead to demand supply mismatch due to burgeoning demand for water.It also have an Horizontal perspective where water rich states like that of North-east see under utilization and on the other hand western and southern states face water scarcity at the same time.

    In order to address this issue government needs to;

    1)promote water productivity at agriculture which consumes nearly 85-90% of india’s water through schemes like “more crop per drop”,system of rice intensification(SRI) and sustainable sugarcane intensification(SSI).

    2)Reduce water needs by promoting micro irrigation like drip,sprinkle,pot irrigation which can reduce water needs by upto 50%
    3)Mandating Rain water harvesting by regulation for all building specially in rain deficit areas.
    4)Aggressive focus on watershed development program in rural areas.
    5)setting up STP(sewage treatment plants) to enhance the effectiveness of water due to its recycling.
    6)strict regulation against supplying free electricity to tube wells
    7)Promoting agro-climate farming which is less water demanding.
    8)Promote river interlinking program to meet demand supply mismatch
    9)Focus on development of new technologies like desalination treatment plant

    Focus on these steps will lead to higher water usage effectiveness and help us to avert the crisis which is set to come in near future.

    • Jagdish

      Perfect.

    • Pankaj Mittal

      Point 1 is statistically misplaced. Indian’s population growth rate is decreasing. Instead, use the word urban population.

      In point three, mention wheat and paddy as well as they are very water intensive

      Keep Writing! Review mine if you can! Thanks 🙂

      • Navneet Goel

        Point 1 says India is seeing fast poppulation growth not growth rate hence it is correct.

    • goluu

      all points covered.Just one point that the rivers which can help in bridging the demand to a large extent are polluted

    • Nikhil

      very nice 🙂

    • MIP

      good one..add development of industries point too..more industries,more water requirement..

    • Sneharsh

      I think the river interlinking program has the potential to create more problems than solutions, environmentally. So, IMO, it’d be better to steer clear of that.

    • MS

      Below pints also can be added as reasons-
      1) Heavy amount of water use in construction industry.
      2) Increased evaporation due to global warming.
      3) unchecked use of water in the household activities.

      Below additional points to addess the issue-
      1) Change in water use habits like closing the tap after use.
      2) Developing environmental friendly habits like no or minimal use of water on Holi.
      3) Consolidation of rain water etc

    • Nirmal Agarwal

      very use full . keep writing .

    • Sandeep Kumar Katarapu

      Good measures have been mentioned. You related the answer to latest programmes, which were announced by government of India recently. Quite good answer my dear friend.

  • Columbus

    Firstly due to discharging of pollutants in rivers we have made them unusable even for agriculture. Discharge from urban areas, industries has lead to rise in pollutant level in river water. Secondly due to huge withdrawal of water for household and irrigation the rivers have lost their natural recycling capacity for major part of their channels e.g. Yamuna in Delhi.

    The lack of rain water harvesting lead to wastage of precious resource. We have discarded our ancient practices of rain water harvesting by canals, ponds, lakes. Huge siltation and lack of dredging reduced their capacity and we also never made effort for it. Recently Govt made it compulsory for all new buildings to have rain water harvesting, it is a welcome step.

    So our dependence on under ground water has increased tremendously in last few decades in line with urbanisation and Agriculture. Due to this the ground water table started depleting and as per estimate after 30yrs it will also become unusable. These are the main reason of huge demand supply mismatch.

    Measures needed:
    1. Agriculture: We should move away from water intensive crops like Paddy etc. Agricultural practices should match the availability of resources, huge withdrawal of ground water in North West India for Paddy is depleting water table. “MORE CROP PER DROP” is to be practiced in line with local agro climatic situation.
    2. Urbanisation: Point sources of pollution like sewage discharge, industrial waste discharge should be the first point of focus. Secondly compulsory water harvesting should be done. India receive enough rain to provide water for its population.
    3.Industry: Technology, innovation, R&D etc should be developed to increase efficiency of water usage in all other sectors.
    4. Govt and Society: Change in life style and bringing it in line with availability of natural resources is needed. Our education system, Govt policy should encourage it. Better conservation efforts can be executed with participation from society only.

  • Aj

    Access to water in India is highly skewed. Social parameters are critical criteria in accessing water. The vulnerable, poor have limited access. Whereas, the rich overuse it. Resultantly, the water market is highly distorted with huge demand-supply mismatch.

    Analysis of the mismatch has to be done on political, policy, social and economic basis.

    On a political level, water access is an important election issue. Politically important areas get excess water supply whereas the”other part” areas are starved.

    On a policy basis, green revolution and electricity subsidy have led to over exploitation of ground water in Northern, western and southern regions. Whereas the eastern region has under utilised its excess ground water.
    Socially, in urban areas the slums are neglected. Water is expensive for them. Subsidised water supply is limited. Piped connections are inadequate. In rural areas, women have to traverse miles for water. Water is unavailable for toilets, perpetuating open defecation.
    Economically, cross subsidisation has helped lower sections but lack of sufficient water tankers or piped connections is an issue. The wealthy over use water for unnecessary activities such as entertainment purposes, fountains, swimming pools etc.

    These issues have widened the demand-supply gap. Measure needed to resolve the crisis are :
    1) We need to tap the groundwater of Eastern region. Initiate policies to reduce water usage in western agricultural regions through promoting organic farming, drip irrigation, water harvesting etc.
    2) Piped, metered connections in urban areas for now. This will give the level of usage and revenues for investment in water recycling, purification and investment in irrigation projects.
    3) Create a culture of low water use.
    4) Rejuvenation of tanks, wells and minor irrigation works as being done in Telangana through the “Mission Kakatiya”
    5) Enhancing availability of water tankers at minimal costs in up piped, rural locations.
    6) Promoting rain water harvesting, water shed management and water conservation in drought prone areas especially.

    These measures coupled with politcial will and public awareness about water scarcity should be the way forward.

    • Pankaj Mittal

      Liked the analysis on political basis. I wrote a more general answer.

      Keep Writing! Review mine if you can! Thanks

  • sasi

    Water is the basic need for human life. So, Providing safe drinking water should be on top priority for the government.Nearly 75% of the needs of water are met through groundwater resources for agriculture and drinking purposes.

    With rapid rise in use of groundwater and surface fresh water over the years due to growth of population, increase in industrial use of water and increase in arable land may create demand-supply mismatch.

    Also, Due to global warming and other climate change impacts the amount of rainfall and monsoon pattern are improper and causes further stress on surface and ground water.

    The replenishing of water is not at the same rate of usage of groundwater. Techniques like rainwater harvesting should be encouraged for ground water replenishment.

    Water supply management must be strengthened with proper identification of water resources and prepare pattern for usage of such resources with sustainable replenishment mechanisms and building storage structures and reducing losses in supplying.

    Waste water recycling and re-usage should be promoted . Huge amounts of investment is required in this aspect.Foreign investment in water management and waste water management can play a key role in this sector with advance technologies and management systems. So, due to this investments water would be chargeable. So, to protect from additional burden for common man.Government should entitle minimum amount of water per person/household for free or a very less amount.

    Industrial re-usage or treatment of water through effluent treatment plants should be made compulsory.

    Agricultural supply losses should be reduced. Techniques like splinker irrigation and other methods with minimal usage of water should be encouraged.

    Demand-supply mismatch should be covered with proper water supply management processes.Water should not become a burden on common man as it is the basic necessity of life and government should spend in this direction to avoid burden on common man for water.

  • NRN

    India has the 17% of the world population while it has only 3% of world’s fresh water resources. At the current rate of water consumption, India will become water scarce by 2025.
    The huge demand supply mismatch is mainly due to rapid growth in population. Every year India creates a population that is the size of Australia. With more and more people getting access to better facilities, the demand for water is further increasing. Little effort has been taken to improve water efficiency in households and industries, aggravating the demand-supply mismatch. Water conservation measures and preventing excessive runoff of rain water also have been largely ignored

    The demand supply gap must be bridged by concerted effort. Demand for more water must be arrested by encouraging efficient usage of water by imposing tariffs on over use- in domestic, industrial and agricultural activities. Industries that have water intensive processes must take the responsibility of recharging ground water, undertake watershed development etc. Supply of water can be increased by encouraging reuse of water- Ex. water for bathrooms can be used in gardens. Desalination of sea water is an unexplored area in our country which has huge potential to assuage the water scarce situation.

  • sasi

    Water is the basic need for human life. So, Providing safe drinking water should be on top priority for the government.Nearly 75% of the needs of water are met through groundwater resources for agriculture and drinking purposes.

    With rapid rise in use of groundwater and surface fresh water over the years due to growth of population, increase in industrial use of water and increase in arable land may create demand-supply mismatch.

    Also, Due to global warming and other climate change impacts the amount of rainfall and monsoon pattern are improper and causes further stress on surface and ground water.

    The replenishing of water is not at the same rate of usage of groundwater. Techniques like rainwater harvesting should be encouraged for ground water replenishment.

    Water supply management must be strengthened with proper identification of water resources and prepare pattern for usage of such resources with sustainable replenishment mechanisms and building storage structures and reducing losses in supplying.

    Waste water recycling and re-usage should be promoted . Huge amounts of investment is required in this aspect.Foreign investment in water management and waste water management can play a key role in this sector with advance technologies and management systems. So, due to this investments water would be chargeable. So, to protect from additional burden for common man.Government should entitle minimum amount of water per person/household for free or a very less amount.

    Industrial re-usage or treatment of water through effluent treatment plants should be made compulsory.

    Agricultural supply losses should be reduced. Techniques like splinker irrigation and other methods with minimal usage of water should be encouraged.

    Demand-supply mismatch should be covered with proper water supply management processes.Water should not become a burden on common man as it is the basic necessity of life and government should spend in this direction to avoid burden on common man for water.

  • Jagdish

    Reasons
    for demand-supply mismatch: 1) Due to inadequate irrigation facility development,
    over-exploitation of groundwater is in practice. This has lowered the water
    table, leading to conflict between the demands from industry, agriculture and
    domestic sector. 2) Increasing urban population and low investment in water
    management and distribution infrastructure for its expansion has created water
    shortage, this coupled with massive leakages such as 20-30% in Delhi has aggravated
    the situation. 3) Low emphasis on water treatment and reuse has along with dumping
    of municipal and industrial waste in water bodies has led to reduction is input
    water sources like Yamuna has become a dead river due to pollution and is of no
    use now. 4) Low awareness about rain water harvesting, water usage efficiency
    coupled with increasing purchasing power of people has increased demand leading
    to magnification of the problem.

    Measures:
    1) Building multi-purpose projects to improve water storage especially in
    southern and eastern areas to reduce loss of water to sea. This will help in improving
    irrigation facilities, water availability for industries and domestic use and
    saving groundwater. Kakatiiya mission in telangana is an example. 2)
    Incentivising industries with various policies and penalties to install treatment
    plants for promoting water reuse. Role of NGT is important in this direction
    which can oversee implementation. 3) Making community rain-harvesting
    facilities mandatory while developing new societies. This will reduce the cost
    of development and maintenance. 4) Installing SWT plants before dumping it into
    water bodies. This will preserve health of water bodies which are source of
    water to urban centres and also improve water usage efficiency. 5) Bringing
    awareness among people to change lifestyle habits along water usage efficiency.

    • nice point with examples…pleas review mine also and suggest what should i do to improve my writing./

    • growing of region specific crops and shift from MSP induced water intensive crops to nutritional yet climate resilient ones will be a value addition..mention of Kaktiya is apt.add construction issue also and green cover

      • Jagdish

        yeah .. you are right … I could have also added micro irrigation (drip and sprinkler).

        Thanks.

  • Ankit

    Indian is set to become a water scarce country by 2025 due to demand supply mismatch. Al tough there are demand and supply mismatches in different parts of the country with people having to walk for miles for water, most parts of the country have access to water (the quality of supply may still not be good). The reasons for the demand supply mismatch could be:
    – Increasing urbanization: Concentrated demand for water in a few areas with corresponding rise in supply infrastructure
    – Depletion of groundwater: Due to excessive extraction in cities and agricultural areas. Replenishing has decreased due to removal of forest cover, urbanization and construction of roads.
    – Destruction of lakes and other water bodies due to human activities like construction and agriculture. Also run off to these lakes has been cut off due to design faults.

    – The quality of water resources has fallen due to pollution of these sources and contamination of runoff.

    – Climate change and irregular rain/snowfall

    In order to improve the situation without burdening the common man some steps could be taken:
    – Reducing wastage in water supply by improving infrastructure
    – Encouraging reuse of water

    – Effluent treatment requirements must must be imposed strictly
    – Rainwater harvesting must be encouraged and made compulsory in large projects

    But any solution for the problem will involve large costs from the government and expensive compliance requirements for builders, farmers and industrialists. So solving the problem will in my opinion won’t be possible without a little “burden” being shared by the common man.

  • nsathya1990

    Water is a precious resource, with ubiquitous importance. The water reserves of our country are getting depleted. Nearly 70% of country’s irrigation and 80% of domestic water use comes from groundwater, which is rapidly depleting. Reasons for the demand supply
    mismatch include:
    – Increasing household income;
    – Increasing demand from the growing service and industrial sectors;
    – Cheap electricity for the farmers;
    – Increased production of water-hungry cash crops in recent years;
    – Sewage and wastewater drainage into traditional water bodies;
    – Lack of adequate water-conservation strategies like rain-water harvesting by citizens & governments alike;
    – Lack of on-time de-silting operations in large water bodies that can enhance water storage capacity during monsoon

    Measures needed to address this issue:
    – Infrastructure development for water supply and waste water management in urban areas;
    – Every independent home/flat and group housing colony must have rain-water harvesting facility. If efficiently designed and properly managed, this alone can reduce the water demand significantly;
    – Mandatory waste-water management by industries especially by the ones located closer to the water-bodies;
    – Waste water treatment and recycling for non-drinking purposes. Several low cost technologies are available that can be implemented in group housing areas;
    – Rationalizing rural power tariffs so that the electricity subsidies don’t reach rich farmers who are the maximum utilizer of ground-water.
    – In the south & west India —regions with very low water tables— water-intensive crops such as sugarcane and paddy should be replaced by less water-intensive crops.
    – Promoting drip irrigation;
    – Looking for appropriate financing models & technology to convert sea-water into fresh drinking water.
    – The amount of water that is wasted during dish washing at home is significant. We need to change our dish washing methods and minimize the habit of keeping the water running. A small step here can make a significant saving in water consumption.

    • Pankaj Mittal

      Briefly explain what cheap electricity does, rest, nice points.

      Keep Writing! Review mine if you can! Thanks! 🙂

  • Pankaj Mittal

    With Indian economy warming up to take the high growth path, the demand for inputs has increased and water is one of the most important of them. This souring demand of water has brought to fore a mismatch between the supply and demand. The reasons are as follows:

    1) First, and most important, exploitation of water as a resource is not governed by market forces which results in highly inefficient utilisation. People use borewells to withdraw water on an unlimited basis.

    2) Agricultural states of India largely follow the wheat-paddy pattern which is water intensive. Punjab, which is semi-arid, sows these water intensive crops. MSP regime is largely responsible for it and acts as a disincentive for crop diversification

    3) Energy requirements in the coming future will largely be met by thermal and nuclear plants which are water intensive.

    4) Canal irrigation network is weak and as a result, a significant portion of river water flows into sea.

    Following efforts are needed to establish a balance between demand and supply

    1) Water meters must be deployed on bore wells as well and consumers be charged as ground water is not a personal resource.

    2) Less water intensive varieties of wheat and rice be developed. Also, crop diversification is the need of the hour.

    3) Irrigation Networks be strengthened and river waters be effectively distributed.

    4) Countries like Japan are using varieties of thermal and nuclear plants which are less water intensive. Apart from that, taking cue from Germany, solar and wind energy should contribute to our energy basket.

    • Mission Upsc

      Very logical answer.

    • add construction issue too in cause
      add river pollution point in efforts
      behavioral changes for water conservation and efficient functioning of public water supply to prevent leakage
      nice and lucid effort
      shift from MSP driven crops to diversified and climate specific crops

      • Pankaj Mittal

        yeah! I included it implicitly in the first line that Indian economy taking a high growth part. It deserved an explicit mention. Thanks for the review!

        🙂

        • deductive analysis is what that can be expected from an examiner but our efforts must be aimed at easing his monotonous task

  • Vibhaav

    As per US water resource group study India
    will be able to meet only half of its water demand by 2030. The reasons behind
    this mismatch are-

    1. Over usage of underground water for domestic purposes.

    2. Due Shortage of irrigation facilities farmers are using groundwater for irrigation purposes. This has led to steep fall in the water level of aquifers. At present more than 60 % of arable land is irrigated through ground water.

    3. Lack of awareness about water harvesting, water conservation practices,

    4. Unorganised and rapid urbanisation, deforestation and non- judicial usage of water.

    5. In South India, the water is being taken out at a large scale from aquifers through rigging but due to rocky structure recharging process is very slow. Due to this underground water table has reached at alarming levels.

    6. Some industries like beverage uses enormous amount of underground water so it creates water problems in adjacent areas

    7. River water pollution due to sewage and industrial waste , Seepage of harmful chemicals like arsenic into ground water create water related diseases and drinking water crisis .

    Measures needed to address these issues-

    1. Creating sufficient irrigation facilities

    2. Creating awareness about judicious usage of water, water conservation methods, promoting tree plantation such as Rain Water harvesting , recharging aquifers through supplying the water collected at roof top during rains

    3. Establishing facilities for water recycling , water treatment and desalination of sea water

    4. Using treated river and sea water and saving underground water for critical situations as recharging underground water is a time taking process.

  • sss

    India is set to become water scarce due to demand supply mis-match. The reason attributed to this mismatch are followings:-

    – Excessive use of ground water in irrigation. Around 85% of ground water is used in irrigation.
    – Subsidised electricity encourages the wasteful use of water in agriculture.
    – Burgeoning population is also putting pressure over water resources.
    – Most of the rainfall water either runs-away to river or evaporates, very little reaches the ground water resource.
    – Contamination of available water due to untreated waste from industries, agriculture and households.
    – Traditional water storing techniques like rainwater harvesting etc. have gone out of use.

    This while seems to be a daunting problem, can be addressed properly by adopting following measures:-
    – Increasing awareness among people towards rain-water harvesting.
    – Traditional techniques like pond, covered well, tanks should be promoted and encouraged to increase ground water resource.
    – Freebies to agriculture like free electricity and subsidised fertilisers can be made more rational by putting ceiling over use.
    – Use of bunds and checkdams to prevent run-off water to river, as used in Rajasthan by Rajendra Singh.
    – Demand driver schemes with community partnership and ownership like “swajaldhara” can enculcate the habit of ownership and preservation among the communities.
    – Proper sanitation and treatment of industrial waste before dicharge can also reduce the contamination of water.

    Therefore, a more inclusive and community driven program, with increased awareness among the mass is the key behind addressing this demand-supply mismatch of water.

  • The availability of Water, which is the basic element for the operation of life has gone to level 1000 cubic meter per person per year in 2011 from 4000 to 5000 cubic meter in 1951 in India and further leading toward water scarcity.

    Reason for demand and supply mismatch:
    1. Over exploitation of ground water by farmers for irrigation
    2. Huge pressure on available limited water resource due to population growth
    3. Untreated industrial effluents and wastes polluted the rivers due to ineffective pollution standard and improper implementation of treatment plants.
    4. Lack of water harvesting system
    5. Defective water supplies pipes in urban and rural areas cause huge loss of water
    6. Industries like Paper pulp leather textile meat etc. are using huge amount of without water treatment plan on treat and use basis.

    Measures:

    1. Need to aware the people through mass media etc. about water scarcity and its consequences.
    2. Promote water harvesting system and water shed development – example Tamil Nadu has made to the rule for water harvesting.

    3. Gradually reduce the subsidies on electricity which is being used by big farmers for over extraction of groundwater and Promote for water treatment facilities in all the big organisation to full fill their water demands.

    4. Need to make harsh rule and huge penalties in case of polluting rivers and empower the pollution board to take action against them.

    5. Provide a real time knowledge and empower the local bodies to manage water extraction of water in cooperative way.

    Water scarcity is going to affect the poor severely as compared to rich one and further promote the division of society and war for water. There is need of cooperation among federal state and local bodies to save water and it’s harvesting at the same time at the household level it should be considered as a moral duty.

  • Bruce

    2) A new study has found that India is set to become water scarce country by 2025 due to demand-supply mis-match. Analyse why there is demand – supply mismatch and what measures are needed to address this issue without burdening the common man.
    Answer
    India has inreasing population and rising urbanisation. So, there is increase in the reuirement of the water.Also, as more than seventy percent of irrigation and domestic watrer comes from the .depleting groundwater.So, this crisis is going to be big.

    It can only be solved by water cycling and industrial treatment plant .Recyr can be used in the toilets so it can take care of one third of daily usage.

    Sewage treatment plants are right now centralised so they waste lot of water and energy .It is required to have decentralised sewage treatment plants. Local bodies should be involved in this.Desalination technologies, though costly, can be tried out.

    Last but not least,water conservation is important.

  • Ripon

    In country like India which is about to become the most populated country in the world there will be serious shortage of water in coming future due to demand supply mismatch . Some of the major reasons and solution for the same are :
    1) Growth of population and huge numbers being added every year with out any increase in water resources both underground and on surface .There is need for water harvesting and recharging of acquifers so that water resources are properly augmented according to the growth in population.
    2)Due to global warming the flow in many rivers is only for few months due to receding glaciers. The large rivers like ganga and yamuna are also flowing well below their normal levels in peak summers .The areas served by these rivers are densely populated and any fluctuation leads to acute water crisis. Proper river linking and controlling global warming with a comprehensive global effort will help in reducing the impact of climate change .
    3)haphazard development of residential areas and unauthorized colonies which are not considered while designing the water supplying system also lead to shortage of water and will be a big problem in future. Preparing proper master plan well before the time and giving proper attention to all construction going on locality by development agencies will help in curbing illegal and unauthorized residential complexes
    4)Losses in transmission which are about 40% in cities like delhi is another reason which can cause a severe water crises in near future. Full proof designing system and using GIS techniques in monitoring the supply and distribution can help in reducing losses. Prompt action on leakage complaints will also help.
    5) Excessive use and wastage by people with increase in standard of living and dereliction of duty to save water and follow ecofriendly life style. For this we need train our students properly at school level and at home to conserve water and reduce wasteful use of water.

  • Strategic Voice

    India faces a demand supply mismatch in water resources due to burgeoning demand while there are limits to supply augmentation:

    1. India is rapidly urbanising and the water intensive urban lifestyle has increased per capita consumption more than supply increase 
    2. demand for irrigation to meet the food requirement of growing population which is estimated at 100mT by 2020.
    3. increasing demand from sectors like energy and for industrial development.

    the supply side issues are:
    1. depleting groundwater table at rate more than its replenishment in Indus and Cauvery basins
    2. increasing Geogenic groundwater pollution as well as increasing river pollution that will limit utilisable water.
    3. climate change will increase incidences of droughts and reduce annual precipitation in drought prone central and north west India 
    4. institutional factors like price distortions, lack of regulation over groundwater , power subsidy for irrigation.

    for urban areas, revival of natural water bodies and wetlands that have been encroached by directing storm water can reduce pressure on water resources. Successful rainwater harvesting models like chennai need to be upscaled through suitable incentives. Seperation of storm water and sewage and recycling and reuse of wastewater is urgently required

    In rural areas, locally driven watershed development and rainwater harvesting programme can meet the drinking water and agricultural needs besides adapting to climate change risks 

    industries should be incentives to improve water usage efficiency and use recycled water 

    institutional bottlenecks must be removed. utilising groundwater based on aquifer mapping , creating water regulators to rationalise prices and adopting a holistic approach to water managemt can help avert impending water crisis.