Neither aplenty, nor potable. That in one sentence could describe the water scene across India.
The National Rural Drinking Water Quality Monitoring and Surveillance Programme seeks to mitigate the situation through a number of steps.
As part of the programme, schools are being provided with water testing kits to enable the students to test for themselves the water quality in their villages.
In the southern Indian state of Tamill Nadu, all the 8,600-odd government middle, higher and higher secondary schools in the State will be getting their kits, a senior official has said.
The Tamil Nadu Water and Drainage (TWAD) Board, through which the project is being implemented, has completed supplying the kits to all the 12,619 panchayats and 385 panchayat unions free of cost, K. Sai Prasad, Director of Communication and Capacity Development Unit, a wing of TWAD board, told The Hindu.(Panchayats are the local administration bodies.)
On Wednesday, around 100 Standard IX students of Government schools in Madurai East, West and Tirupparankundram panchayat unions in the southern part of the state were given training to determine the water parameters such as pH value residual chlorine and Total Dissolved Solids.
The testing kit had been indigenously developed by the TWAD Board and patented, Sai Prasad said.
The entire project cost was being borne by the Centre and Rs. 6.3 crore sanctioned for training and creating awareness and Rs. 4.7 crore for manufacturing the kits, he said.
The ultimate objective was to monitor the quality of all water sources in the State, especially in villages which had multiple sources of water such as borewell, hand pumps and wells.
When the trained students find the quality of water not potable anywhere, they could approach the TWAD Board for remedial measures, Sai Prasad added.