Currently, in Chennai, India, people are having a water shortage crisis, as the main waterbody has dried up after a bad season.
This problem could be worse in the future since Chennai is becoming completely dry and not being able to provide water for its population.
Regarding societal and economic pressures, some of the problems are that people do not have enough water since the government is not able to provide all the population with fresh water. Therefore, people there are getting water by private companies, which costs three times as much as the regular one, or by the government’s trucks or wells, but some of it is not drinkable. This water from the wells is used for washing, so the residents need to buy bottled drinking water but not everyone can afford it.
According to an ecologist and biodiversity expert Dr. Jayashree Vencatesan, “The water table in Chennai is seriously compromised.
There is rampant extraction through bore wells in south Chennai. There are no guidelines; things are in a mess.” As the water table declines, wells are becoming deeper and deeper. This results in an over-extraction and decreases the quality of water. The water on deeper layers acquires the properties of the subsoil layer. This is why the water from the wells had become salty. Also, in the regions near the salty water, people violate government laws, and create their illegal wells, resulting in salty water reaching groundwater channels. The problem with severe downpours is that they cause a quicker runoff, and this prevents more water from reaching the reservoirs in a controlled way, so humans receive less clean water. In the long-term, this may lead to a shortage of consumable water.
As a result, 1.1 billion people all over the world lack access to water, and a total of 2.7 billion find water scarcity for at least one month of the year. Inadequate sanitation is also a problem for 2.4 billion people—they are exposed to diseases, such as cholera and typhoid fever, and other water-borne illnesses. Two million people, mostly children, die each year from diarrheal diseases alone.
Many of the water systems that keep ecosystems thriving and feed a growing human population have become emphasized. Rivers, lakes, and aquifers are drying up or becoming too polluted to use. More than half the world’s wetlands have disappeared. Agriculture consumes more water than any other source and wastes much of that through inefficiencies. Climate change is altering patterns of weather and water around the world, causing shortages and droughts in some areas and floods in others.
Several actions can reduce water crises in the future. Firstly, we can increase people’s knowledge of water consumption so that they do not waste it and contaminate it. Secondly, the residents there should try to control population growth. Because of the rapid increase in population, more water is consumed daily. Finally, finding and avoiding resources that are polluting the water reservoirs can keep the water clean and useable.