The word mismanagement sums up Delhi’s annual water crisis. The national capital was declared as the world’s second most populous city in the year 2014 by United Nations (UN). Delhi is home to some 25 million people and the cleavage between demand and supply for water keeps growing at a constant rate. On World Water Day, hope for meeting Delhi’s acute water crisis comes in the form of a 121-page document which is basically Delhi’s first water policy.
As per experts, 100 liters of water is enough to meet an individual’s requirements for a day. But a typical Delhiite, on an average, uses 172 liters water per day. The draft stresses on bringing down the amount of water consumed by an individual in a single day. Moreover, Delhi loses 40% of its water supplies due to theft and leakages. The target is to bring down distribution to loss to under 10% by 2025. Another crucial agenda is increasing the recycled waste water use. The document states that Delhi must increase its recycled waste water usage to 25% in 2017, 50% in 2022, and around 80% in 2027.
Delhi gets its surface water mainly from Yamuna, Ganga, and Sutlej. In addition to this, water is also extracted from bore wells. A widespread pipeline network of 11,350 km provides water to the people of Delhi. However, in spite of gathering surface water as well as ground water, the demand and supply gap in the city remains at a daunting 265 MGD (million gallons per day).
The insightful draft also focuses on replenishing groundwater resources and water conservation. Several practices like water harvesting, water body conservation, and effective laws and regulations will be a part of a consolidated effort aimed at restoring groundwater in the city to 1990 levels.
World Water Day is of great significance for the residents of cities like Delhi where water crisis does not sprout due to demand issues. There are major flaws in resource management and the distribution branch of water supply. The fresh efforts of Delhi government will require consistent citizen participation to quench Delhi’s thirst for water.