Solving Water crisis at ground level

Water – they say will the resource for which the next war will be fought. Water is the most basic necessity for human life. We need it for drinking, for cooking, for washing n cleaning and just about anything. Nature has provided us with water in abundance but the drinkable water is a small percentage of the overall water available on the planet.

In the McKinsey Video Blog’s Matt Damon and Gary White talk about micro-finance and its role in providing clean water to world’s poor. They actually take an example from India and talk about how the amount spent on accessing water can be the loan repayment amount that can lead to a permanent solution for the water problem. Now they do not mention the solution per se, but only talk about making the capital available to people who can then find their own local solutions to the problem.

For me the crux of the solution lies in small solutions. we need to spend billions of dollars in coming up with mega projects to solve the problem, but we need to come up with small localized solutions. If they work, just create some awareness about their success and others will replicate it themselves. Small solutions when they fail also leave a small imprint and a small wastage. If they succeed they can be replicated very easily and usually the total cost of ownership is far lower than the cost of a huge project. Smaller projects also invite local partnerships and ownership which means they are easily maintained.

Man has been using water since ages so it should not be too difficult to get clean water from local sources. If the local sources are polluted, leaving water un-usable for human consumption, that it gives another reason for locals to work on reviving their water resources or pay for the transportation from water from faraway sources.

Anuradha Goyal