Pushing Back Delhi’s ‘Day Zero’
To prevent a water crisis in New Delhi, city dwellers are being asked to take up the socially responsible act of catching rain where it falls, known as rainwater harvesting.
A number of overlapping factors have led to the extreme groundwater extraction that is in evidence in New Delhi. Arid for much of the year, the water that is in circulation in New Delhi’s underground pipes is mostly sourced from inter-basin water transfers. The result is that the city’s water system is dependent on five rivers, and on the five states through which these rivers flow: Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, and Haryana.
Since the long-term availability of water from these rivers is in question because of rising population, agricultural demands, and the water-stressing effects of increasing temperatures, there are frequent political fights between the national capital and upstream states for the continued supply of water.