News Paper Article on “Rural areas in Karnataka face acute drinking water shortage as ROs dry up” published in Times of India, dated 14.3.2017

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The Source of Water for the RO plants in Rural areas are  mostly Borewells. Availability of Groundwater in Borewells was depended on Rainfall, Lakes, Tanks and streams.

Lakes and Tanks used to be the only sources of Water for our villages since ancient times. With the drilling of Borewells, which started in the 70s on a massive scale in Karnataka, the Government at all levels-Village Panchayat to Taluq and Zilla Panchayats, neglected the maintainance of Lakes. Their catchments were converted to residential sites or  occupied for farming.

Increasing population placed greater demand for water.  The need for Rain water harvesting arose. Structures such as Check dams were built. In the recent years, digging of “Ingu Gundis” are being encouraged for conserving rain water. Rejuvenation of rural Lakes is peacemeal and untimely.  All these measures are  happening in a half hearted manner.

Revival of streams and Rivers have been initiated by NGOs like the AoL.

The original sources of Water for RO plants, namely Lakes, tanks, borewells and streams all got dried up over the years. Scanty rain fall  added to the vows.

I have been pleading since 2 years through KRRS (Regd) with the Karnataka  State Govt for constitution of  a RURAL LAKE DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY(RDA) to be directed and manned by dedicated *Scientists* down to village level  for reviving Rural lakes and their catchments. RDA would help to pool up funds being spent on rural lakes under Minor Irrigation Schemes and from all other sources of funding meant for rejuvenation and upkeep of rural LAKES.

At least now, since the State elections are nearing, the State Govt should take all measures on a war footing to revive  the Lakes and Tanks in the DRY taluks of interior Karnataka. Only then, the people and cattle population who are dependent on Lakes and ROs hope to survive the prevailing severe drought conditions.

The Govt should seek the help of NGOs working in Rural areas such as the *AoL* (Art of Living) and create the right environment for Art of Surviving *(AoS)*.

 

Future supplies of potable water would have to come from the following sources; These sources are currently being harnessed on a small scale.

 

(1)  Treatment of City effluents (bath and toilet waters) and reuse of water like the way a few European cities have been doing.

 

(2) Sea water desalination for coastal cities and towns.

 

(3)  Rejuvenation, Protection and maintenance of Lakes in cities, towns and Rural areas located in interior Karnataka, far away away from the coast line, through Rain Water Harvesting on a massive scale.  RWH should necessarily go hand in hand with afforestation.

 

Vasudev

Sacred Trust