Chennai is always remembered for its December Carnatic music concerts and the aroma of filter coffee!
But that’s not everything Chennai is remembered for. On the bitter side, it’s remembered for its never ending water woes. And the bad news is, it just got worse, because of the expansion of the city.
A recent report states that while Chennai’s current water supply is 600 million litters per day, it’s demand for water is going to grow to 1584 million litres per day in just 3 years! Urgent measures like getting ready to use the full capacity of desalination plants are going to yield very minimal results, as the demand is going to grow 2.5 times!
Chennai already has severe water shortage problem, and there’s no addition to the existing sources of water.
With a population of 8.6 million people as of January 30, 2014 (remember it was 4.3 million in 2001!), the demand is getting worse because of population explosion, immigration and urbanization. People can take pride with the fact that Chennai is growing by boundaries, and hence their real estate value is going to go up, but with no water to drink and use, the city’s existence and value is going to collapse if not now but in the near future.
In spite of Tamilnadu having many Tier 2 cities, the immigration is still happening to Chennai. Moving some Government functions and IT/BPO industries to the other Tier 2 cities will help mitigate the problem a bit. There are several logical choices like Trichy, Madurai, Tirunelveli and Erode.
Government is taking all the steps possible to take care of the water problem, but, ultimately it is in the citizens hands on how this can be mitigated.
I am not a water conservation advocate, because I know that at this scale, any amount of water conservation will not solve problem. I am not a tree planting advocate for Chennai, because (a) in Chennai, all the land has been usurped, (b) even if we start planting trees now, it will take 10 to 15 years for the trees to grow and take care of the water level – not to mention the Chennai problem of salt water mixing with underground water.
But I am going to suggest that Chennai folks stop their reproduction! Irrespective of whatever the Government does to mitigate the situation, even, if the state capital offices and IT/BPO companies are moved to other cities, if people keep on giving birth, it is not going to help the situation.
One could stay single (or) marry but not generate babies (or) adopt instead of giving birth.
There’s still a tendency to run to fertility clinics when existing people don’t have water to drink and use, and there are children on streets with no one to take care of them. Instead, folks should think of going to adoption centers and orphanage homes and see if they can adopt.
I am providing a few links on how individuals can act than blaming it on everyone and everything else.
As someone said, Chennai is drinking from water bottles, it won’t be far when it starts to bathe from water bottles. Now, that would be sad.