The Empty Glass: Water Shortage in Nimbahera
“We can’t eat Daal Baati, neither can we take bath daily. We don’t have any idea if the water will come tomorrow or we have to look at the empty buckets for one more day,” said Maya, a citizen of Nimbahera.
Rajasthan is known for its dry climate and with it comes the problem of water scarcity. While talking to different people from the small town of Rajasthan, it became very clear that people are facing serious water shortages.
When asked about the problems, Maya said that they get water every alternate day for only one hour and they have to fill the buckets for all the purposes, be it cooking, washing, cleaning, drinking, or bathing. “The cheapest tanker which does not provide clean water costs 350 bucks and it is very expensive for us. I work as a maid and my husband is daily wage labour, we can’t afford to spend this much amount on water” Maya added.
It is not like only poor people who cannot afford water are facing these problems. “The groundwater level is constantly depleting and now the government has made these cemented roads which has added to our misery. The Replenishment of the groundwater has been restricted as the water cannot go down the concrete roads”, said Ashish who has a tube well in his house but is concerned about the situation. Although he has installed 450 ft-deep tube well, they still have to call water tankers during summers.
He also mentioned that there is no facility of water supply in his colony, by the Nagar Palika. There is just one community tube well which does not have enough water to fulfill the requirements of the residents.
There are people who have to leave their work whenever the water supply is restored. “There is no fixed time of water supply,” said Santa, a maid in school. There is no routine, there are times when there is no water supply for 2- 3 days and even then, water comes for barely 45 minutes, she added.
There was one community tube well in their society which hasn't been working for the past 1 month. Even after complaining about it to the authorities, it has not been repaired. She further added that she has to walk for 4 kilometers to fetch water from the wells.
One of the biggest problems was the quality of water as people are getting the same dirty water for all the purposes and not everyone can afford a water purifier and that leaves them with no other choice but to drink whatever has been supplied to them.
According to the citizens, the government's management is not really well established, people are dying as they have to drink unfiltered water and this has become a reason for many illnesses. Contaminated water is linked to transmission of diseases such as cholera, diarrhea, dysentery, hepatitis A, typhoid, and polio.
“This poorly managed system has given the opportunity to people. They are taking advantage of the helplessness of others by selling filtered water at high rates and earning profits through water.” said Ashish.
Further depletion of water can create a drought like situation therefore the need to look into the enhancement of the rainwater harvesting system and ways to improve the groundwater level has reached its peak.