Udaipur, blessed with lakes, both man-made and natural, has always relied on average to good monsoons for its population to survive. However, when the monsoon is below average, it becomes a matter of concern.
With over 80 million tonnes of potable water per day being fulfilled by the big four of Udaipur, viz. Fatehsagar, Pichhola, Jaisamand and Nandeshwar, assurance of water supply for a year keeps Udaipur running. But, whenever there is a dearth of rain water, like this year, concerns arise. Udaipur has been through worse monsoon conditions and the lakes have seen 100% dry spells with not a drop of water in them. The city survived.
However, with the population growing exponentially, industrial growth on the rise, and with the Smart City projects taking place across the city, water is being used in proportions never seen before. Indiscriminate water usage, water wastage and pollution of the major reservoirs of water are sure to add to the problem of availability of potable water and otherwise.
Elation during the monsoon months was marred this year, because the weather played hide and seek across the four months – July-October, more hide than seek, and Udaipur saw a dry spell of monsoon. There were hints earlier, that it could be a tough monsoon this year, but we were still hopeful when the weather changes in the interim and it did rain for days together at times.
Unfortunately, even the mountains in the Aravali’s surrounding the city of lakes are not in a position to retain water during heavy rains, as the forests cover in these mountains is depleting – smuggling of wood and unorganised cattle grazing being the main culprits. So, effectively, with no water retention in the mountains, the water flows down and into the lakes and is used up immediately – wasted.
As per experts, and as indicated in a TOI article, the water supply is not a major cause of concern since the reservoirs are good to last another year. However, being cautious, conservative and rational in use of potable water as well as untreated water for industrial use and the smart city work going around in the city, is warranted. The existing demand for potable water, of which Fatehsagar meets around 14 million tonnes per day, and Pichhola, Nandeshwar and Jaisamand together account for 22 million tonnes of potable water per day, as per experts, have a capacity to last another year. Let’s hypothetically assume that the next years monsoon is below average, or at the most average – what then. Where will the coming years supply come from?
Take a walk around the lakes anytime of the day, and it will be an unpleasant sight…drying water bodies, garbage in the lakes, which give us our drinking water, roads being dug up, sewerage line work causing the water lines to burst and the water being wasted in millions of tonnes per day, is sure to make you worried. But as residents of this City of Lakes, the usage of water has to shift from “Want” based to “Need” based. Water conservation at homes, factories and even in administrative projects going around in the city, needs to be established. Environmentalists have already warned of water scarcity in Udaipur – Day 0 may be around, for all we know…
Source: Media Reports