HYDERABAD: As per a NITI Aayog report on water management index from 2018, India has been undergoing the worst water crisis that the country has ever witnessed. By 2020, the report said, as many as 21 major cities of India would run out of water and face ‘day zero’ i.e. most of the cities’ taps would have to be switched off for a day.
In a bid to avoid this water crisis, people must start conserving water at all costs, said HMWS&SB managing director M Dana Kishore.
When it comes to the Greater Hyderabad limits, the HMWS&SB has been drawing water from the Godavari, about 200 km away from the city, and Krishna, about 100 km away from Hyderabad. The water board, which governs water systems within 1,642 sq km area in the city, supplies 430 million gallons of water per day from the aforementioned reservoirs via pumping.
Of the 430 MGD of water, 5 per cent gets wasted every day due to leakages and other factors, according to Dana Kishore. The wasted water can suffice water demands of about 6 lakh people. For one kilolitre of water, the State is spending `45 and the same is being provided to consumers at a subsidised rate of `7 per kilolitre.
The city once had several tanks which, due to urbanisation and encroachments, have now been wiped out. During the last four decades, the increased occupancy of the city has reduced vacant lands, leaving only 6.81 per cent for open spaces, parks and playgrounds. Drastic changes in land-use pattern resulted in altercations in the hydrological cycle and has greatly reduced the scope of natural recharge of the groundwater. Though a water self-sufficient city, Hyderabad is witnessing wastage of water due to lack of citizen accountability.