Stacations means stay at vacations.
This case study was written by Dr. S. Venkata Seshaiah, Associate Dean and Professor (Department of Economics), IBS, Hyderabad. It is intended to be used as the basis for class discussion rather than to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. The case was writtenfrom published sources. © 2009, IBSCDC. No part of this publication may be copied, stored, transmitted, reproduced or distributed in any form or medium whatsoever without the permission of the copyright owner.
Background Reading: Chapter 1, “The Fundamentals of Economics”, Economics (Paul A. Samuelson and William D. Nordhaus)
India is blessed with many rivers. Monsoon rulesmost part of the country months long. Yet studies carried out on water management have confirmed scarcity of water in many parts of India. The issue of water scarcity needs careful handling by the economic agents such as the policy-makers, producers, politicians and consumers. If the oil prices rise, the economic agents can reduce oil consumption by sticking to ‘stacations’1, resorting to carpooling, purchasing more fuel efficient vehicles or shifting closer to their workplaces. But this is not the case with water-related issues as water is the very basis of food and livelihood. Agriculture, real estate boom, urbanisation, demographic features, behaviour patterns are among the various factors that account for huge pressure on water. India being a predominantly agricultural country, thereis an enormous need for water to raise a variety of crops. Nearly 84% of available water is used for the agricultural sector in India and the remaining 16% is used for the purposes of industrial and household consumption. Farmers in India largely produce paddy which consumes a lot of water. If they are unable to cultivate paddy, they assume that they have no resources even if they have huge bankbalances. This is due to the fact that in rural areas, paddy is treated as an embodiment of the goddess of wealth. The people in rural India are overly dependent on agriculture for their living. In this scenario, it is very difficult to transform the economy from one based on agriculture sector to one based on manufacture and service-sectors. Most of the tanks and lakes have been converted intoconstruction sites for housing which has further intensified the water problem. The frequent droughts, floods and disguised unemployment across rural areas – reflective of policy failures at various levels in tackling the rural issues in India – are the major causes of migration from rural to urban areas in India. Migration of this sort has been continuously building pressure on demand for wateracross India. Due to rise in population, demand for drinking water in India has stood at 20 billion Cubic Metre (BCM) per year. With 450 millon Indians going to cross the age of 19 by the end of this year the future drinking water demand of
Water Management in India: An Offspin of Scarcity?
Water Management in India...
young India is projected to be 51.33 BCM per year. Indiansnow-a-days tend to instal and use european style toilets which consume a large amount of water. In thickly populated countries like India, water is becoming a scarce resource year after year. Hence efficient water management has become the need of the hour.
Present Use and Future Requirement of Water
According to the statistics of the Government of Maharashtra, 95% of the urban populationdepend on tap water as their source of drinking water. Of the rural population, 50% depend on tap water, 27% on wells and 20% on hand pumps (Exhibit I).
Major Source Tap Tube well/Hand pump Well Other Total
Source: “Economic Survey of Maharashtra 2002-03”, Directorate of Economics and Statistics, Planning Department, Government of Maharashtra
The usage of water increased across all the...