Or to put it better, the water situation in Bangalore. I care about it, and worry about it. I wonder how it must be for those people who can’t get a glass of clean, drinkable water. And how long before all of us are in that situation.
To add to it all, husband sent me this link. According to the authorities, Bangalore has just enough water for the next 15 to 18 days. That is scary. I know, some might wonder why I’m so bothered, when I don’t even live there right now. But I can’t help but care. If its Bangalore today, it is likely to be somewhere else tomorrow. Isn’t it time that we did something about it? Especially when it is something that will affect us eventually, however insulated we might think we are.
My domestic help in Bangalore used to tell me how difficult it was for. The days when they got water, they would be up at 3, to catch and store water. Missing that time would mean no water for them, until the next supply day, whenever it was, because they didn’t even get water everyday. She would tell me how her heart broke when she saw children leaving the taps on, and the parents turning a blind eye. I wonder how they must feel coming to work to our swanky apartments, with swimming pools and water features.. when they don’t even get the bare minimum amount of water. Husband was telling me that he had read somewhere that in India, if we do have a civil war, it was likely to be over water. When you see such disparity, it does start to look rather likely. Of course, today, a lot of us are forced to buy tankers of water, because there is no government supply, but if we go on without a care, it is more than likely that even money would not be able to buy that precious resource – water.
One of things that I wish I could do is try and make some difference to the water situation. I did not face the brunt of the water shortage in Bangalore, because I had left by then, but I did try to do what I could. Sensible use of water, in every way I could, reuse of RO water, having only bucket baths, teaching daughter to conserve water… I wish I could do more, something that would make a real difference, beyond the little everyday things.
Despite all the individual measures that we could take, the issue is such a huge one, that we need a collective effort. I know that there are several groups of people working towards resolving this, but unless the government takes it up on a war footing, nothing will really change. While individuals and citizens groups can make a difference, governments can do so much more. Rain water harvesting across board, ensuring that all buildings confirm to water saving guidelines, maintenance of water pipes, water meters made mandatory in all apartments to prevent misuse of water… The way we have carbon foot print offsetting, how about water usage offsetting for huge consumers like hotels and large apartments? Construction permission given only when there is enough drinking water for everybody. So many things that can make a huge difference. Makes me wonder why our governments are so lethargic even when faced with such a drastic situation.
A friend was telling me how Chennai tackled its depleting water levels problem by a massive rain water harvesting program. And apparently today, the water situation is much better there, than it was a decade ago. If one Indian city could do this, what is stopping the others from emulating? The only reason I can see is the reluctance to anything unless it reaches the point of no return.
The only silver lining is the people’s involvement in all these issues, at least in Bangalore, from what I have seen. The 9-10 months that I lived there has made me optimistic that despite governance bodies that do nothing, there are people’s groups who care deeply and are making a difference. Hopefully, one day, the government will wake up to the seriousness of the issue and take some big steps. Until then, I guess we can do our bit, in whatever way we can. After all every little will help.
Posted as part of May Photo a Day Challenge.