Cairn India quenches Barmer thirst with safe water
Water scarcity and the lack of access to safe and clean drinking water has been one of the most pressing problems in rural as well as urban India. While the issue of scarcity of water is prevalent in drought prone states like Rajasthan and parts of Gujarat, the issue of access to safe water, despite its availability, has also been growing at an alarming rate.
In such times, the onus of making water available to communities does not only lie on the government and its agencies, but also in these times of limited resources, it is imperative for all stakeholders to come together in contributing to the community. In fact, ensuring access to safe drinking water is vital for achieving the country’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well. World Water Day on March 22, is a recognition of and knowledge sharing on the issues around water that face various communities and how water can play a crucial role in employment generation. Making a mark on World Water Day 2016 and its theme, ‘Better Water, Better Jobs’ Cairn India is making safe water available to the communities it operates in.
Rajasthan, with 10.4 percent of the country’s geographical area, 5.5 per cent of the population and 18.70 per cent of the livestock, has only 1.16 per cent of surface water available in the country. The state is one of the driest in India, where rainfall is erratic and distribution patterns are inconsistent.
Barmer district, part of the Thar Desert, is said to be the most densely populated arid zone in the world with a population density of 90 people per square km where temperature go up to 50°C during the summer season.
According to the World Economic Forum 2009 report, the region has the lowest water endowment in Rajasthan. In 2013, the media reported that over 24 cities and towns, including Barmer, Balotra and Jalore, received Government water only once every four days. Jaipur the capital city topped the list of water contamination with as many as 9,628 habitations having no access to clean water. It is estimated that 75 per cent of the Indian villages with multiple water quality problems fall in Rajasthan.
The per capita water availability in the State was 840 m3 in 20012, while the international benchmark for water scarcity was 1,000 m3.