Drought has hit regions of India so severely that water is more valuable than gold. Sparse rainfall, record temperatures and over abstraction by an ever increasing population has been the perfect storm depleting water levels. The scarcity of water is so severe in some districts that it is now more valuable than gold – a resident in the gold mining town Kaddoni stated that, “We can lend gold, but not water”. Restaurants and shops have shut, public toilets have been closed and people have to guard the little water they have with their lives. Arguments, violent altercations and even deaths have been attributed to the water shortage. Theft of water is commonplace and Police have taken to escorting water tankers and people are mounting guards on their water stocks.
This year parts of India have recorded its highest ever June temperature of 48 degrees and Churu in Rajasthan became the hottest place on Earth at 50.8 degrees. People have resorted to drinking water meant for livestock and deemed unfit for human consumption, risking their lives by descending up to 40 feet into wells or even being forced to migrate.
Pre-monsoon rainfall in the country — crucial for plantation of crops — was the second lowest in 65 years, shrinking lakes and rivers, concentrating pollutants and waterborne diseases. The hope is that the monsoon will come early and with good rainfall, fortunes will change but of course, the situation could continue and get even worse, causing mass population movement and destabilisation of the region.
For years, Water Powered Technologies have been advocating protecting groundwater and aquifers by only using surface water sustainably, storing water when it is plentiful to use during droughts. Over-abstraction of groundwater by wells and boreholes has led to a worldwide crisis by depleting these underground aquifers which take hundreds of years to recover. We believe we must start being smarter, saving, storing and recycling water now if we want to avoid humanitarian disasters in many parts of the world.
For more information regarding how Water Powered Technologies products helps protect aquifers, please visit papapump.com