On Sunday, people in the Indian state of Gujarat joined together in a pledge to conserve water.
Gujarat, on the western side of India, has been experiencing severe drought. Some aquifers near the coast are undergoing saltwater intrusion. Reservoirs are running dry; many are at 5% of their capacity. Women must walk two to three miles each day to collect water, even in large cities.
The government is implementing multiple solutions. Gujarat is known for its innovative business strategies, having one of the largest solar power plants in the world and planning to put “solar roofs” over major roads and highways. 100% of villages have electricity and broadband internet.
Desilting dams, building more reservoirs, and increasing the number of canals to bring water into the region is already underway. The government also plans to desalinate sea water along Gujarat’s thousand mile coast. Even recycling waste water is getting attention.
In agriculture, drip irrigation is being pushed. “One drop, more crop” is the government’s slogan. Agricultural production has increased in recent years with water conservation innovations, despite scarce rainfall.
Boat stranded in the Little Rann of Kutch photo via Shutterstock