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Water water everywhere, yeah ! October 1, 2006

Posted by Sharath Rao in india, media.
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The NYTimes is carrying a 3 article series here about India’s growing water crisis ! I really couldnt believe my eyes when I saw that. Why on earth would the Times carry such an article on a distant country’s domestic problem ? And the way its been put – hmm, well how many of us think water is one of India’s impending crisis. I atleast know one person – my dad. Not that he was armed with any data or research study, but each time he sees one of us wasting water, he just would say that the coming wars will be fought over water rather than oil. That ofcourse may be a little too early to say, but that was true atleast of the arguments we had at home ! 🙂

Here is an extract.

The fabled Yamuna River, on whose banks this city was born more than 2,000 years ago, is a case study in the water management crisis confronting India. In Hindu mythology, the Yamuna is considered to be a river that fell from heaven to earth. Today, it is a foul portrait of crippled infrastructure — and yet, still worshiped. From the bridges that soar across the river, the faithful toss coins and sweets, lovingly wrapped in plastic. They scatter the ashes of their dead.

In New Delhi the Yamuna itself is clinically dead.

As the Yamuna enters the capital, still relatively clean from its 246-mile descent from atop the Himalayas, the city’s public water agency, the New Delhi Jal Board, extracts 229 million gallons every day from the river, its largest single source of drinking water. As the Yamuna leaves the city, it becomes the principal drain for New Delhi’s waste. Residents pour 950 million gallons of sewage into the river each day.

I liked that comparitive figure – replace 229 units of clean water with 950 units of semi-toxic water. Sounds scary even for a laboratory experiment.

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