Warriors of India - Initiative towards Pure and Ample water'
water supply and waste water management should be looked in
an integrated way.
It is desirable to think of water supply, sanitation and wastewater
in an integrated way. This implies that the cost of an integrated
solution will be much lower than a solution at a later stage by
a separate institution based on different cost recovery system.
In big cities dealing with wastewater and offsite sanitation is
often integrated. However, in the Indian case we also learn that
this tends to be limited to the area of the Municipal Commission,
leaving the rest of the city to the development authorities or even
district authorities, who tend to have less money and no money raising
responsibilities. As a result we at our movement will make government
and people aware to manage useable water and waste water with same
is a need for regulation in the system The need for well-defined
roles and responsibilities is clear.
It is also necessary to make the institutional arrangements between
the municipality and the private sector explicit. There needs to
be a regulatory framework and the authorities need to take their
responsibility. As public utilities are not usually subject to the
disciplines of the market, they have fewer incentives to minimize
costs (and maximize tariff collection rates). Regulatory arrangements
can stimulate them to look at their cost, for example through a
system of benchmarking.
The design of an effective institutional framework is a challenge
in large metropolitan areas. If not done well, the existence of
multiple institutions with primary or secondary responsibilities
in sanitation can become a hindrance to effective development and
management of sanitation services. A case in point is Bangalore
where mandates not only overlap, but have also been defined at different
levels, and for different technologies. Here, effective co-ordination
is absent, as a result of which the services cannot be run effectively.
So, if each section of the society is made aware of its role, such
commotion won't arise at all, this is also an area where water warriors
cannot be ignored
Financing is crucial. What is the financial basis for supplying
water and sanitation services? Some of the cost recovery mechanisms
currently used includes infrastructure charges, connection fees,
environmental user fees and local taxes. Raising sufficient revenue
to cover for the cost is difficult. As already emphasized, the costs
of these services are high and at the same time, the demand is usually
little developed and the willingness to pay is low, and lower than
that for other services. In addition, enforcement of payment for
sanitation and waste water services is difficult, as one cannot
simply disconnect as is done with other utilities such power and
telecoms. Yet, any sustainable water management initiative must
address the key issues of financing and cost recovery. In this context,
raising the awareness of the need to have adequate wastewater and
sanitation services, of the range of technologies, and of the cost
of such services and of the inevitability of cost recovery in return
for good service quality is a precondition for effectiveness. User
participation is yet another key to success in wastewater services:
several urban case studies have shown that willingness to pay is
above expected levels in cases where the users have been given a
chance to consciously participate in the selection and establishment
of the sanitation system.
Various cost recovery mechanisms or economic instruments can be
applied to recover (at least) the operational cost of urban sanitation
and the treatment of wastewater. These include user charges, effluent
charges and taxation. There should be provision of 'polluter pays'
in which the costs of wastewater management charged to a customer
are calculated in function of wastewater quantity and pollution
load. Household charges may be uniform and based on an assumed pollution
equivalent, or a volumetric rate based on recorded water consumption.
High charges may encourage pre-treatment and even process-redesign
by industries in an effort to optimize water and wastewater costs.
(Too) high charges may also have undesired effects such as illegal
discharges inside or outside the wastewater system. So water warriors
through advocating such policies will ensure maximizing of utility
under the constraints of minimizing cost.
The youth consortium of water warriors will cater specifically to
all the above concerned issues. Having discussed the current scenario,
reasons and the issues and their specific solution regarding the
water management in India, now we shift our emphasis on the ways
in which an individual or a locality can take measures to solve
its own major water problem Urban centres in India are facing
an ironical situation today. On one hand there is the acute water
scarcity and on the other, the streets are often flooded during
the monsoons. This has led to serious problems with quality and
quantity of groundwater. This is despite the fact that all these
cities receive good rainfall. However, this rainfall occurs during
short spells of high intensity. (Most of the rain falls in just
100 hours out of 8,760 hours in a year). Because of such short duration
of heavy rain, most of the rain falling on the surface tends to
flow away rapidly leaving very little for recharge of groundwater.
As water shortage increases, alternative sources of water supply
are gaining importance. These include sewage recycle, rainwater
harvesting, generating water form humidity in the atmosphere etc.
Water recycle through rain water harvesting is a simple, effective
and economical solution to conserve water so that more fresh water
is available for essential uses drinking, bathing, cooking and laundry.
Population, industrialization and pollution are putting pressure
on our limited fresh water resource. There is limit to increasing
water supply because we are running out of sources and cost of additional
facilities is prohibitive. The best way to solve water problem therefore
is by conserving water and recycling it wherever possible. Recycling
must be made mandatory far all new projects- industrial or domestic
and even should be promoted to existing buildings also. One of the
solutions to the urban water crisis and the best way to recycle
water is 'Rainwater Harvesting - capturing the runoff.' Rain harvesting
will be really efficient in areas where there is inadequate groundwater
supply or surface resources are either lacking or insufficient,
it drastically reduces urban flooding from which our two major cities
Mumbai and Chennai suffered drastically last year
Rain water harvesting
is an ancient concept, the implementation of it does not requires
any major technology and the cost is even low, as compared to the
benefits cost should not even be considered. At this juncture it's
worth mentioning the ways in which an individual of the society
can take part in such a process.
Rainwater harvesting can be harvested from the following surfaces:
buildings with impervious roofs are already in place, the catchment
area is effectively available free of charge and they provide a
supply at the point of consumption. Paved and unpaved areas i.e.,
landscapes, open fields, parks, storm water drains, roads and pavements
and other open areas can be effectively used to harvest the runoff.
The main advantage in using ground as collecting surface is that
water can be collected from a larger area. This is part of the community
project to be undertaken
Water bodies: The potential of lakes, tanks and ponds to store rainwater
is immense. The harvested rainwater can not only be used to meet
water requirements of the city, it also recharges groundwater aquifers.
Storm water drains:
Most of the residential colonies have proper network of storm water
drains. If maintained neatly, these offer a simple and cost effective
means for harvesting rainwater. Rain water though stored will only
serve the purpose if properly filtered to meet the major drinking
water needs. For this effect major invention in the field has been
made which provides proper rain water purification mechanisms. These
purification system works on the normal treatment method involving
screening, flocculation sedimentation and filtration.
These purification systems are also available for micro scale projects
to serve the need of a household. Such purification systems are
simple in installing and easy to operate. The most important feature
is that they don't require electricity. Many entrepreneurs of industries
tend to forget the fact that they are part of the living society
and in turn they tend to foster the production of negative externality.
It should be made mandatory for each industry to install water management
solutions to recycle its waste water for reuse. Major step in this
front is through the development of Industrial effluent recycle
solution which integrates physiochemical, biological and membrane
separation processes for optimum water recovery. They achieve water
management through water recycle and source reduction, and waste
management through product recovery and waste minimization. They
are cost effective as they recover valuable products for reuse while
recycling which gives industries a good return on their investment
while protecting the environment and even the common people as it
reduces the water usage of industries and transmittance of waste
to water bodies.
After emphasizing the ways of tackling the problem through rain
water harvesting and other recycling options, the following paragraphs
paves the way to the essence of the whole discussion; it illuminates
the role of the youth in curbing the problem of such a magnitude
which can pose a threat to the very existence of the mankind in
this world. Any amount of government expenditure cannot solve this
problem unless and until the community as a whole in its full might
rise to the occasion and work for it.
India the role of youth cannot be under estimated as India in its
demography cycle has a position of Young India with more than half
of India's population below the age of 35 years. The youth of the
nation has to take part in mass movement of awareness; they have
to be the 'Water warriors of India'
In this approach the youth will be enlightened to serve their locality
and curb the water problem. Each locality in city will have its
own group of members named as the water warriors whose primary work
will be to impart awareness among the residents regarding rain water
harvesting. Charity begins at home, so in the first step the members
have to set up rain water harvesting system in their respective
houses, so that they can put forward examples and other people can
replicate these. Water warriors of respective localities will provide
assistance in setting up of the system of rain water harvesting.
In certain cases possible community projects can be taken as a whole
where large tanks are to be constructed to store rain water. Major
foray of water warriors will be in water harvesting but it will
also simultaneously ensure that water is being properly utilized.
The promotion techniques will include the most believable of all-
word-of-mouth, apart from other conventional means of imparting
awareness such as newspapers, hoarding etc, as water warriors will
be a youth forum, the awareness and membership will be imparted
through the largest network of World Wide Web.
The major question which remained unanswered is that why will any
youth join this consortium of water warrior?
The answer to this question can be traced from last year experience
of major cities of west and south India, which were struck by floods,
the irony was that there was water everywhere but there was no water
to drink, no water to cook food, no water to survive life. This
incident in major way has brought into notice the major problem
of water management in our country, and it's the younger generations
who have to foray into the scene, join the consortium and solve
the problem simply because of the reason that we are the people
who have to destine the future of ours as well as coming generation.
It was first time that major important cities of India had confronted
such a problem which made youth aware of the reality, and steps
has to be taken to overcome the harsh realities of water mismanagement.
Among the factors that constrain performance of water management
in India are:
poor levels of service particularly for sanitation, inadequate pricing
policies (poor cost recovery), undue political interference with
service provision, highly centralized character of the sector, lack
of accountability, lack of continuation in policies and programmes,
low levels of productivity and efficiency and inadequate training
or management and sector staff. These factors are exacerbated by
external factors such as of population growth, urbanization, and
economic development that jointly drive a growth in demand that
providers fail to cope with. Successful approaches that has to be
considered at macro level for policies should be effective decentralization,
integration of hygiene and sanitation activities, demand-driven
approaches, cost recovery and good governance, and focus on poverty
alleviation, equitable distribution of health services, and gender-sensitive
It is heartening to note that in India, the water supply sector
is at last moving away from an infrastructure- creation approach
to a consolidation approach.
But India still needs to make substantial infrastructure is that
its growth has not been accompanied by an improvement in the quality
of governance of water services in the country and that the water
sector suffered from a policy of 'build- neglect and rebuild'. Therefore,
government and its agencies should not merely concern them with
fixing pipes but also fixing institutions that fix pipes
These were the approaches at macro level but for effective utilization
of these policies the work has to start from micro level, from each
and every household itself. We as youth through our voice need to
create awareness about the importance of water in the community
so that mindset, attitudes, and habits change proactively rather
than wait for legislation and regulation. Together we must work
to see that waste of this precious resource is minimizes and we
are able to conserve fresh water for future generations. There is
need to grab the water problem by the scruff of its neck. Enough
has been written, discussed about the problem, hardly anybody takes
a look at the solution. Residents of the locality blame it on the
government; government on the other hand overlooks it as a seasonal
or short term problem. Therefore, there is a need of a paradigm
shift from problems to the solution, from despair to problem solving,
form now to future. This is what the youth movement of water warriors
will be about.
The water warrior campaign's, ultimate goal will be to see a world
as an agglomeration of ecological - water harvesting - democracies.
While writing this essay I, myself is gulping marketed mineral water,
because the water supply in my locality is not safe for drinking,
but after completing the essay it's assured that we as 'Water Warriors'
will promise the world of pure and ample water.
Back to Water Warriors of India
Contributing Writer -
a student of Economics Honours, Sri Venkateswara Collge, Delhi University