Even if make a comparison to the scenario in the last century, the water levels have not reduced. Water is not collected in areas where it rains while there is scarcity of water in areas where there are hardly any rains. This reflects in the limitation of poor water distribution, availability and the disorganised manner in which water resources are handled in the State.
As the water distribution is not equitable, more and more farmers are committing suicides while the women in the family have to suffer with the acute shortage in terms of storing water. This indicates that the women in the families should take a headstart with water management.
Water has a direct effect on the women in the family. Till date, a lot of steps have been taken to tackle the distribution of water. Cities face the brunt of drinking water shortage whereas the villages are facing the problem of irrigation water. But, the measures taken are not fruitful enough. Hence, the only solution is to entrust women with the responsibility of managing the water resources. For next three years, the government should implement this for more effective solutions.
Many villages have ground water as their only source of water. In times of scarcity, these sources get dry and the entire village has to depend on tankers that transport water. Thus, all water related issues are compounded. In this, the rural women suffer the most while in the cities, water is wasted through leaking taps. Women also suffer when there is no irrigation facility at the farms. Every day, Mumbai supplies 200 litres of water to each household. The source of this water is at Shahapur taluka.
Nashik and Marathwada receive water from Igatpuri and Dindori talukas respectively. But in February, these villages have lines of women waiting to fill water at the taps.
Social and economic value
Water is a natural resource with social and economic value. From farmers to industries to citizens in cities and villages, this resource is available for all. This also means that everyone is responsible for the conservation of this precious resource. Hence, everyone should reflect on this in a positive way by saving water at their respective levels. However, this issue is politicised. Those who stake claim on water ignore water conservation and management. As a result, the mighty are benefitted and the underprivileged have to suffer. Therefore, women need to be alert about water management.
Kalpana Salunkhe, Pani Panchayat
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