Only two cities in India — Thiruvananthapuram and Kota — get continuous water supply. All other cities in the country get water for few hours during the day and in some cases, after several days.
“It is not a water production problem, but a water resources management issue. We produce more water on a per capita basis than many western countries,” said V Srinivasa Chary, director, Centre for Energy, Environment, Urban Governance and Infrastructure Development at the Administrative Staff College of India, Hyderabad.
Hyderabad delivers water for only two hours every second day. Sixteen people died and 200 were hospitalised as a result of this practice last year, Chary told a gathering of water experts and policy makers attending a national workshop on water conservation and water quality challenges organised by The Energy Research Institute (Teri) to mark World Water day today.
The problem with intermittent supply is that it leads to serious public health problems and weakens the system. “When a network is empty, it creates a back siphoning effect that could suck in contaminants from sewage pipelines and others,” explained Chary. The life of the asset is also weakened under such intermittent pressure, causing leaks from pipe joints.