March 23, 2008

life in general: un-holy use of water in india

Many of us in Bombay realise the importance of water in our lives only during summer time when there is water shortage in the 4-5 artificial lakes that are 100-200 kms away from Bombay in village areas but from where laid down pipes get water to Bombay.

Just yesterday (22 March) was the festival of Holi in India and once again the eco-sensitive people could not but notice the enormous ignorance by the festival-celebrating citizenry. In particular, the affluent celebrate Holi by throwing at each other chemically-coloured powder and bucket-filled water or splash water through hoses that are kept running for 1-2 hours continuously. At least a million litres of water would have been wasted by the Holi revellers in just Bombay alone. Multiply this across the thousands of cities, towns and villages and the entire country's wastage of water on the day of Holi every year would add up to a mammoth amount. I consider this criminal given that millions of people in India still do not have access to clean drinking water and water for other domestic uses. See the photo alongside (taken from

Urban India has forgotten how to conserve water and also recharge the ground water. Four years ago, I wrote a one-off article for Humanscape magazine (of an NGO) on rainwater harvesting. The article talked of the whys and hows of rainwater harvesting.

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