Archives for category: monsoon

After I returned from my visit to COP15, the first thing that I heard is that Mumbai has only enough water to last for another few months (given the consumption patterns). Due to thirty percent deficit in the annual rainfall this year (#climatechange), fifteen percent additional cuts in water supply have been announced by the Municipal Corporation and this has hit around 14 million inhabitants, especially in the slums.

It is sad and surprising that water supply was not brought up as a serious issue in COP (and the parties were severely criticized for this, particularly by the water activists), even though it has become a growing concern worldwide. This is what Hannah Stoddard of Stakeholder Forum, an international multi-stakeholder organization working on environmental action, said in one of the side-events in Copenhagen, ” Let’s be clear not talking about water management in relation to an impending environmental crisis is tantamount to not talking about food shortage in the face of a famine.” During the World Water Week in Stockholm in August this year, it was clearly mentioned that water must be included in the COP-15 climate negotiations.

A short movie called “Hydrogenic City 2020” talks about the impending water crisis in LA and how a new technology of water reclamation can help solve that problem. But we need these technologies to be implemented urgently!

The area where I reside in Mumbai, is also facing small water cuts and Thursdays are going to be no-water days starting this week. In the face of such crisis, it is very crucial that we learn water management and use limited resources.

Anil Diggikar, additional municipal commissioner of Brihanmumbai Municipal Commissioner (BMC), wears a ‘Save Water, Save Lives’ badge to emphasize the need to save water. In a recent move, the BMC has decided to treat the city’s water crisis as an event. It is planning to appoint an event management company to create awareness on the urgent need to save water.

A recent article on BBC news said that the city needs four billion liters of drinking water every day to service the need of all its residents. However, the BMC can supply 3.3 billion liters of drinking water every day. Alternate water sources like rain water harvesting, dug wells and bore wells are used to augment water supply but a critical solution would be to educate people to not waste water.

In recent years, the BMC has held seminars and exhibitions on water conservation, but has reached a very small audience. A lot of people believe that if the BMC were to fix leaks immediately and take action against those blatantly wasting water, it would get the message across more effectively.

Even though the BMC is trying to advocate conservation of water, many observers believe the water shortage will continue if serious steps are not taken to address the crisis. There are fears that if the population continues to grow and demand for water hits new highs, then the crisis could escalate and the city may run out of water within fifteen years.

Unless a longer-term solution and a collective effort to conserve water is put in place, many analysts worry that Mumbai’s 20 million or so residents could be left high and dry!