Indian cities facing severe water shortage
People in Indian cities suffer from poor water supply. The tap runs only a few hours a day in cities. It is estimated that these same cities will accomodate half a billion people by 2050. Therefore, water distribution in India needs immediate reforms to avoid a future water crisis.
Tank trucks are now part of the Indian urban landscape. Everyday, they transport millions of litres of water from the countryside to the dry areas of cities. Sometimes the distribution even gives rise to riots. For instance, 2 people died in March in a slum area of New Delhi during a dispute that broke out when filling cans. Water scarcity costs lives and precious hours of work or schooling, especially when children are responsible for collecting it. Furthermore the lack of sanitation infrastructure and the poor quality of water also threaten the health of the inhabitants.
In Indian cities, which will have a population of 500 million inhabitants by 2050, tap water is only provided for a few hours a day. The luckiest inhabitants then resorted to pumps to store groundwater in tanks placed on the roofs of their houses. These roof tanks need to be equipped with filters because the groundwater is contaminated by toxic substances, which penetrate the soil from open dumps.
In 2015, the government launched the renovation project of urban water and sanitation networks aimed at improving the infrastructure of cities. 108 “smart cities” were selected for the project. According to Vishwanath Srikantaiah, an Indian expert on water issues, “the key to water shortage problem lies in better governance.”
Some municipalities have delegated the management of this resource to companies, arguing that the increase in its price would force users not to waste water, thus improving the quality of the distribution network. But many Indian experts are skeptical…