ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Water Crises: Social Cost


Cape Town, one of the global tourist hotspots in South Africa, has been in the news for its dreaded “day zero,” signifying the possibility of taps running out of water. However, the consequences go beyond the realm of water. The unprecedented crisis has intensified the debate and discussion on race in the rainbow nation. This unfolding crisis has a special message for an unequal and diverse society like India. Against the United Nations’ accepted benchmark of 1,750 cubic metres per person per year, according to the latest census, in India the per capita availability of water is 1,545 cubic metres. This means India is already a water-stressed nation. Research has underlined that absence of water in a particular location disturbs the political economy of the state, unleashing fissures in social relations.

As privilege and wealth is historically associated with white Afrikaners, the predominantly black South Africans feel that the crisis has affected them disproportionately. As a result, debates over racial injustices have reignited. Unlike South Africa, where race is a major fault line, India has numerous conceivable divergences. Any further stress on water has the potential to deepen and broaden fissures across castes, religions, regions, and social and political units.

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Updated On : 13th Apr, 2018
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