Even as Delhi struggles to cope with an acute water shortage over the last over one week owing to an inter-state water dispute with Haryana,Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Thursday warned of alarmingly low groundwater levels in the city and urged citizens to take up rainwater harvesting (RWH) as a peoples movement.
Some 40 years ago,the groundwater levels in Delhi were so high that the water had to be pumped out to prevent seepage in buildings. Today,the groundwater level is alarmingly low in many places… I use half a bucket of water for bathing during the summer and ask my family members to follow suit, Dikshit said while inaugurating a national workshop on Rainwater Harvesting-Sustainable Solutions to Water Problems of NCT of Delhi,which was organised by the Delhi Jal Board (DJB).
Acknowledging that the complex procedures involved in setting up an RWH facility have drastically affected its popularity,the CM stressed on simplifying the procedures by providing policy support,financial assistance and technical guidance to individuals and RWAs to ensure that RWH becomes a major initiative to improve the groundwater status in Delhi.
Chief Secretary P K Tripathi said the DJB should get more proactive in providing prompt consultations and technical support to individuals,RWAs and NGOs and said action-oriented assistance was the needed.
Delhi receives an annual rainfall of 611.8 mm during the 27 rainy days in a year,which experts says can be easily stored by way of RWH mechanisms for subsequent use and recharging of aquifers. During the rainy season,Yamuna gets a huge amount of floodwater which simply flows away. But if stored,it can be a vital source of water for the NCT,which is not going to have any additional source of raw water in several years to come, a DJB official said.