India’s rapid urban growth is putting pressure on its public service arrangements especially its management of water and sanitation services. • The safe and reliable availability of water and sanitation proved to be the first line of defence against the scourges of COVID-19.
The supply-demand gap is expected to widen by 50 per cent by 2030. At least five Indian cities are already reported to have joined the list of world’s 20 largest water-stressed cities. Bangalore and Chennai, source their waters from a distance of 95 kilometres and 200 km, respectively.
India’s Water Management Practice
- As an extension of India’s colonial history, management of water was part of public institutions.
- While this lead to systematic exclusion of public’s opinions in informing the design and implementation protocols of large public schemes.
- The development projects took the form of multi-purpose dams, irrigation canals, public water distribution systems, etc.
Climate change impacts
- With temperatures rising due to changing climate, precipitation patterns vary.
- The towns and cities are facing water shortages during the summer months and experiencing floods during monsoon.
- Climate changes are expected to increase precipitation, which will come in the form of reduced rainy days but more days of extreme precipitation events.
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