[Answered] ““India is facing the dual challenge of ensuring energy security and combating water crisis.” Comment.

Demand of the question
Introduction. Contextual introduction.
Body. Dual challenge of energy security and combating water crisis.
Conclusion. Way forward and solution.

India’s energy and water demands are rising day by day. Increasing population, global warming, urbanisation and many other factors are the main cause behind it. While India is facing a water crisis situation it can jeopardise India’s energy security goals.

Dual Challenge of energy security and combating water crisis:

  1. Economic growth: With an aim to become a $5 trillion economy, India’s industry need more electricity and water.
    • As per the estimates of Government of India (GoI), to ensure a sustained 8% growth of the economy, by 2031-32 India needs to increase its primary energy supply by three to four times and its electricity generation by five to six times of the 2003-04 levels.
    • Further agricultural crisis demand more irrigational facilities. This put challenge for India to ensure energy security and combating water crisis.
  2. Urbanisation: With increasing urbanisation and government plans to develop smart cities, it requires more clean energy and water.
    • Further unplanned urbanisation, urban sprawls reduce efficient energy and water use leading to water and energy wastage.
    • Thus there is challenge to ensure efficient urban planning securing India’s energy and water needs.
  3. Water dependent thermal power plants: Report shows that
    • 90 percent of India’s thermal power plants which provide the country with most of its electricity rely on freshwater for cooling.
    • 40 percent of the country’s thermal power plants experience high water stress and are located in water-stress regions. This poses a challenge of ensuring energy and fresh-water in India.
  4. Environment Change: With global warming demand for air conditioners, electric vehicles is going increase. This will lead to increase in energy demand.
    • In India electricity is produced mainly by thermal power plants or coal based plants that may shut down due to rising pollution levels and water deficit.
    • Also India’s water needs are dependent mainly on monsoon. Environmental changes and increasing population combined with lack of overall long-term availability of water resources is a cause of concern.
  5. Increasing Population: India is posed to be world’s largest population surpassing China. This will lead to increase in demand of electricity and water. Further many water sources are contaminated with both bio and chemical pollutants. This lead to unavailability of clean water and endanger energy and water security of India.

Solution to India’s dual challenge:

  1. Improving electricity plant efficiencyand shift toward solar and wind energy. India already has a robust target that 40 percent of its power supply will come from renewable sources by 2030, under the Paris Agreement on climate change.
  2. By prioritising solar photovoltaic and wind energy in areas of high water stress, India can boost its resilience, save water, and reduce carbon.
  3. There is a need to focus on technological options for improving energy efficiency in the industry, power generation and commercial buildings, and promoting renewable energy technologies in different end-use sectors.
  4. Judicious supply of water and energy to agricultural and non-agricultural consumers in rural area is needed. Strengthening of transmission and distribution infrastructure is also important.
  5. India has only 4% of the world’s renewable water resources and about 18% of the world’s population, should consumes water more sensibly.
  6. India will need to balance the needs of its growing economy with its increasing water stress.
  7. Stringent implementation of standards for judicious water use by thermal power plants is important.

A green growth economy is the need of the hour. The Union Cabinet had in November approved the launch of Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) for ensuring 24×7 power supply. After all, India’s rapid and enduring economic growth is intrinsically linked to the increasing consumption of energy and natural resources.

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