Safe drinking water is a basic necessity for the survival for every human. It is naturally found in surface and sub-surface areas. The state of Haryana is blessed with plenty of water resources, from ponds and rivers to groundwater and rains. This, however, does not stand true due to exploitative use of many of the water sources. In addition, pollution caused by several anthropological reasons has made water undrinkable. Other factors like population rise, improper water storage methods, and low-quality water purifying systems have made obtaining safe drinking water a challenge.
Water, in general, is used not only for drinking, but also for agriculture, washing, and industries. Untold crores have been spent on providing irrigation to the farmers, setting up sewerage treatment plants, building overhead tanks, installing hand pumps, and facilitating drinking water supply to every village and town of the 21 districts of the state. These have, although, till now fallen short on their promises. According to a number of news reports, there is still lack of safe drinking water in a number of districts, including Rewari, Karnal, Faridabad, Kurukshetra, Jind, Panipat, Yamunanagar, and Kaithal. In many of these places, it was found that the water supply had a bad taste and bad smell , clearly indicating that the water was not fit for human consumption.
There are a number of challenges for supplying potable water, as mentioned by the officials in charge of drinking water supply in Haryana. Chief among the challenges, as they pointed out, is contamination of the water being supplied through the public water supply system. Pipe leakages have resulted in the mixing of drain water with drinking water that has caused the increase of the bacteria, E. Coli, in the drinking water system. The pathogenic strain of this bacterium is known to cause acute water-borne diseases like diarrhea. To combat this problem, the water needs to be adequately chlorinated.
An important fact in the supply of safe drinking water is its storage. This not only helps in keeping the water clean and drinkable for longer hours, it also helps in conserving water. In a study done between 2009 and 2010, it was found that 70.9% people in the rural Haryana did not use a ladle to draw water. Drawing water using hygienic means is significant in ensuring its drinkable safety. This can cause several water-borne diseases. The need of the hour is to spread the knowledge about water conservation and sanitary methods for collecting and drawing drinkable water.
Another significant aspect in relation to safe drinking water in a state is their qualitative monitoring and surveying the adequacy of their quantity. In a study, it was found that only 5.88% of the villages studied had the Field Testing Kits that help test the water quality. In order to tackle this situation, major headway needs to be made to train officers in each village to test the quality of water, wide distribution of the test kits, and imparting the knowledge of keeping the water supply sources sustainable. The industries in the adjoining areas also need to be made accountable for the quality of water in the area so as to maintain a seamless water supply for Naya Haryana's future.