1.Urban centres in India are facing an ironical situation today. On one hand there is the acute water scarcity due to rise in consumption, over dependence and over-exploitation of ground water resources. Added to this, there is a lack of a coherent and credible water management policy. On the other hand, the streets are often flooded during the monsoons, giving rise to a situation of ‘water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink.’
2.This shortage is despite the fact that generally all Indian cities receive good rainfall. However, this rainfall occurs during short spells of high intensity. (Most of the rain falls in just 100 hours out of 8,760 hours in a year). Because of such short duration of heavy rain, most of the rain falling on the surface tends to flow away rapidly leaving very little for recharge of groundwater aquifers. Most of the traditional water harvesting systems in cities have been neglected and fallen into disuse, worsening the urban water scenario. Most of the Air Force Stations are situated in cities/towns which have acute water shortages. The case of AF stations at Nal and Bhuj are in point which are in recognised water parched areas. Generally, AF stations have their own captive ground water supply (tube wells/ bore wells) with only little or moderate dependence on supply from the local Jal Boards/ Nigams. Of late, they have come to grips with this crisis, and the situation is only going to deteriorate in the future. The Jal Boards/Nigams can also not be relied upon for a bail out from the crisis due to general scarcity of this resource and a burgeoning clientele. Also, as is the case in Delhi, many civil water regulatory authorities have banned the digging and construction of new tubewells. Ostensibly to safeguard the precious ground water, this has deepened the crisis further for many.
3.One of the solutions to the urban water crisis is rainwater harvesting - capturing the runoff....