Water is the most discussed and debated topic all over the world and a plethora of treaties and conventions have eulogized its sustainable uses. It has been around since time immemorial. While the quantity of freshwater has remained constant, continually recycled through the atmosphere and back in to use, the population has exploded. This means competition for a clean, copious supply of water for drinking, cooking, bathing, and sustaining life intensifies.
Water scarcity is an abstract concept to many and a stark reality for others. It is the result of myriad environmental, political, economic, and social forces. While nearly 70 percent of the world is covered by water, only 2.5 percent of it is fresh water. Only 0.007 percent of the planet’s water is available to feed its 6.8 billion people. In the developing countries, clean water is either hard to come by or a commodity that requires laborious work or significant currency to obtain.
The human body contains 60 percent water. Ironically, humans continue to be inefficient water users. Hence the challenge: how to effectively conserve, manage, and distribute water. Therefore, it is essential to assess where freshwater resources exist, how they are used, and how climate, technology, policy, and people can play a role in finding solutions.
The Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) has the mandate, inter alia, to conserve/restore urban lakes/water bodies, re-use and re-cycle waste water, etc. These are important factors, some oft forgotten, and have been summed up in the “Advisory on conservation and restoration of water bodies in urban areas” by CPHEEO for the use/guidance of State Governments/ ULBs with the hope that they shall improve it further and apply as per own needs. The initiative gains immense importance in the sense that urban lakes/ water bodies are first victims of urbanization and their conservation/restoration is sign of healthy and sustainable urban development.