Cairn India quenches Barmer thirst with safe water

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.

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