Delhi breeds water inequity

The water thirsty capital is the perfect example of how not to manage water. Tracing where the three billion litres disappear everyday

Published: Saturday 15 June 2002

-- People in Delhi use, on an average, 2.95 billion litres of water every day. About 363 litres per person daily.
>> Since 1961 water production has multiplied six times.

>> Domestic consumption has increased from 166 litres per capita per day (lpcd) in 1961 to 224 lpcd in 1999-2000.

>> The area with five per cent of the city's population (the capital's elite)receives over 450 litres per capita daily at a cost of Rs 0.35 to Rs 0.70 per kilolitre.

>> People in villages covering over 70 per cent of the National capital territory comsume less than five per cent of Delhi's water supply. They get less than 100 million litres per day of water.

>> In some areas, water supply can be as low as 31 lpcd, insufficient for basic needs.

>> Compare this to the national average of 40-60 l per person each day - a bucketful of water for cooking, drinking and bathing.

>> Shortage of water, estimated at 47 per cent for 2001 is expected to increase to 57 per cent by 2021.

Source: Anon 1997, Status of Water supply and wasewater generation, collection, treatment and disposal in metro cities, Central Pollution Control Board, New Delhi, p23 Calculated from Anon 2001, Unintentional Wastage of Water, Indian Tobacco Company (ITC) Hotels Limited, New Delhi ITC Fact sheet: Unintentional Wastage of Water) Marie-Helene Zerah 2000, Water: Unreliable Supply in Delhi, Manohar Publishers, New Delhi, p 66 Anon 1999, Delhi 1999 A Fact Sheet, National Capital Region Planning Board, New Delhi, p 35.

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