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Water crisis looming large before us: Hamid Ansari

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 04, 2013
First Published: 21:42 IST(4/3/2013) | Last Updated: 21:44 IST(4/3/2013)

At a time when water inequity across Indian cities is on the rise, only a judicious combination of water supply and waste water management can help confront the water crisis that is looming large before us, Vice President Hamid Ansari said Monday.
Speaking at the second “Anil Agarwal Dialogue: Excreta Does Matter” organized by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), Ansari expressed concern over India’s scarce water resources as well as the stark inequity in access to water.
“We must work towards conserving water to minimize the generation of waste water. We must make people understand how water and waste water are interconnected. Only with a judicious combination of water supply and waste water management can we hope to confront the water crisis that is looming large before us,” the Vice President said. 

Ansari was not off the mark. Indian cities produce nearly 40,000 million litres of sewage per day, enough to irrigate nine million hectares. However, barely 20 % of this is treated, reflecting the enormous waste of a critical resource.
To address this complex issue on how cities will get affordable water and waste systems that can supply to all and take back and treat the sewage of all, some 150 experts, policy makers and voluntary organization have gathered in the Capital for the second edition of "Anil Agarwal Dialogues" to brainstorm and come up with sustainable solution to the twin challenges facing us. 
Sunita Narain, director general, CSE said, “Cities plan for water, but forget about their waste. More water equals more waste, as almost 80 per cent of the water cities consume come back as wastewater. Cities have no clue how they will convey waste of all, treat it, clean rivers. 78% of our sewage is officially untreated – and it is an optimistic figure, as we think it could be as much as 85 % and disposed off in our water bodies as well as in our groundwater.”

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