The Church in India must make a concerted effort to spread awareness of the need to conserve water before it is too late, a bishop has warned.
“We are in for a serious trouble unless we protect the environment and arrest the rapidly depleting water table,” said Bishop Sebastian Vadakel of Ujjain. He also called for help from other bodies, saying that the Church cannot complete the task alone.
According to government figures, Madhya Pradesh state, which encompasses Ujjain, has exhausted 40% of its underground water in the past two decades.
The region now suffers serious, repeated water crises. Emergency rationing is already a permanent feature, with some towns having supplies interrupted for up to four days. Bhopal, the state capital, has water supplied on alternate days only and in villages which are not attached to water mains, bore holes can be drilled as deep as 90 metres without success.
Disputes over water are increasingly common with 45 incidents of violence, including seven murders, in recent months.
Adding his support for Bishop Vadakel’s call for greater awareness, Kurishungal, the President of the Madhya Pradesh Grand Assembly of Christians, cited numerous cases of ignorance where people had dumped trash in ponds and wells, making the water supply unusable.