World Bank warns India of an era of severe water scarcity. New Delhi needs to make major changes in its water management policies, it says. A little step can help in water-conservation; make more and more people aware of the necessity of conserving it. This indicates the need of conservation of water by Delhi. The other day while surfing the net I got to see an intriguing statement that read “China is actually set to acquire the capability to fashion water as a political weapon against India”. I went on to read the entire article. The article was written in a persuasive style. It haunts me till now. New evidence from China indicates that, as part of its planned diversion of the waters of the Brahmaputra, preparations are afoot to start work on the world’s biggest dam at the river’s so-called Great Bend, located at Tibet’s corner with north-eastern India. The dam, by impounding water on a gargantuan scale, will generate, according to a latest map of planned dams put up on its website by the state-run Hydro China, 38,000 megawatts of power, or more than twice the capacity of the Three Gorges Dam. Such is its scale that this new dam will by itself produce the equivalent of 25 per cent of India’s current installed electricity generation capacity from all sources. Now-a-days energy is a crucial factor which determines the capabilities of nation so most of us think it’s not at all a horrifying one. But Brahmaputra is Bangladesh’s most important river, and the Chinese diversion would mean environmental devastation of large parts of Bangladesh. So this diversion ultimately leads to the debacle of Bangladesh in each and every field. I thought we are lucky enough not to be in Bangladesh’s place. But the problem is not so weeny, because most of the Indian rivers are China-controlled. Brahmaputra wouldn’t be a major problem for us at present, but if anything happens in the near future we would find ourselves in a severe water crisis. Already Jammu and Kashmir has that situation. The rapidly increasing water pollution has thrown all the major lakes of Jammu and Kashmir, including the world famous Dal Lake on the verge of extinction, posing a serious threat to the livelihoods of as many as 1200 households, who live in the region.
We may become richer if we have a lot of gold reserves, but we will die if we don’t have water. In olden times, people used to say that a person is spending money like water when he is spending too much. If we continue in that fashion, the situation may get reversed. We need to create a situation where a person will spend water like money. A country with more water reserves will be richer than one which has more money. And India, where agriculture is the primary occupation for many people, water conservation is a must.
So we have to concentrate at least now on river conservation and make India as a prosperous country.