The city of Chennai is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world housing a thousand IT companies and multiple billion-dollar multinationals while being home to a total of 10 million people. However, the recent water threat in the city is about to put a brake on all of the growth. Let’s find out how!
Already the ongoing water crisis has forced the government of Chennai to desalinate seawater, bring water from trains, and deploy an army of water trucks.
The water crisis became real when some IT employees were asked not to report to the office and work from home following the water shortage.
The Madras Chamber of Commerce pointed in a survey from May that most industries in the city’s diversified economy have been affected by the crisis, which has caused disruptions in production schedules, higher operation costs and a reluctance to invest in expansion because of the uncertainty about future water supplies.
Companies are paying 30% more for private supplies sourced from farther outside Chennai delivered by water tankers, which even require dedicated workers to manage. To cut costs, some companies even have even set up their own water-recycling systems.
According to experts, Chennai receives about 80% of its total rainfall in the months of October and November alone. Thus, the city is naturally prone to droughts and floods, which however in recent years has got exacerbated because of climate change. It cannot be denied that some of this disaster is manmade.
As irony has it, now water has become a luxury in the city; a brand-new apartment complex in the western outskirts called Golden Opulence hung a banner advertising big capital letters: “Drinking water in abundance, absolutely free!"
And, the problem isn’t limited to Chennai. The National Institution for Transforming India, a government think tank, said in a report last year that India was undergoing the worst water crisis in its history. Critical groundwater resources, which account for 40% of our water supply are being depleted at unsustainable rates. More than 600 million people are facing “acute" water shortages, and 21 Indian cities, including Chennai, are expected to run out of groundwater by 2020.
If anything, this is disturbing for a country that has long far to go for reaching its development goals. This Independence Day let’s pledge to save water as much as we can and make things a little less bad for our future generations.
Image Credits- Livemint
This article has been taken and modified from the original version published in Livemint.