In March 2023, Desire Energy CEO, Mr. Gaurav Kumar Gupta spoke at the #UN2023WaterConference side event organized by Light Millennium at New York City on “WHAT IS YOUR COMMITMENT TO THE #WATERACTIONDECADE”?
Excellencies, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens of the world. It is an honor to address such a distinguished gathering, representing a shared commitment to a common goal as we celebrate World Water Day at the UN 2023 Water Conference. My thanks to Ms. Bircan Unver for giving me this opportunity.
As the CEO of Desire Energy Solutions Private Limited, I am delighted to address you today. Growing up in Rajasthan, India, one of the driest and most water-scarce regions of the world, I witnessed firsthand the devastating effects of water scarcity on people’s lives. But as someone who has dedicated their lives to solving the global water crisis, I am proud to say that we are making progress, and I am excited to share with you some of the ways we can continue to make a difference during this Water Action Decade.
Let me begin by sharing an ancient hindu thought:
इस ब्रह्मांड में सब कुछ जल है और जल से व्याप्त है। जल ही इस ब्रह्माण्ड में सब कुछ है, और जो कुछ भी अस्तित्व में है, चाहे वह अंदर हो या बाहर, जल द्वारा ही पोषित है | हम सूर्य देव को भी जल चढ़ाते हैं |
English: Everything in this universe is water and is pervaded by water. Water alone is everything in this universe, and all that exists, whether inside or outside, is sustained by water. We offer water even to the sun god.
Water is the elixir of life, and access to clean water is a fundamental human right. Yet, over two billion people still lack access to safe drinking water at home, and this number is set to increase. We need to act now, and we need to act fast.
Even according to Thales, who Aristotle called the “first ancient philosopher”, the fundamental originating principle of nature was “water”.
As the famous saying goes, “We never know the worth of water till the well is dry.” But we don’t have to wait for the well to dry up before we take action. The Water Action Decade presents us with a unique opportunity to make a difference, to make commitments, and to take action to address the water crisis.
Now, I know that talking about water scarcity can be a bit of a downer, but there are some inspiring stories that give us hope. For example, did you know that in 2018, Cape Town, South Africa, was on the brink of running out of water? But through the efforts of the city’s residents, who cut their water usage in half, and the city’s government, which implemented new water management strategies, they were able to avoid “Day Zero,” the day when the city would have run out of water. Similarly, when we were growing up in Rajasthan, most of us never imagined that we or our mothers or sisters will not have to walk 3 kilometres each side everyday to fetch us water and we would get water in our homes. We have made this a reality today!
Under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi, India has achieved remarkable progress in providing access to clean water and sanitation to its citizens, especially in rural areas. The flagship Jal Jeevan Mission has provided over 110 million (11 crores) rural households with piped water supply and is working towards providing tap water connections to every household in India!
This shows that when we work together and take action, we can make a difference.
But the water crisis isn’t just a problem for developing countries. In fact, here in the United States, nearly one-third of households face challenges in paying their water bills, which can lead to water shutoffs and, in some cases, even homelessness.
We need to remember that access to clean water is a fundamental human right, and it’s up to all of us to ensure that everyone has access to this vital resource.
So, what are we waiting for? Let’s make commitments to the Water Action Decade, and let’s make a difference.
Now, you may be wondering, what kind of commitments can we make? Well, here are a few ideas:
- Protecting our water sources: We need to ensure that our water sources are protected from pollution, overuse, and climate change. This means taking action to reduce our carbon footprint, investing in renewable energy, and reducing our use of single-use plastics.
- Promoting efficient water usage: We need to be more mindful of how we use water. This means fixing leaky faucets, using water-efficient appliances, and reducing our water usage in everyday activities such as brushing our teeth and taking a shower.
- Treating wastewater: We need to ensure that our wastewater is treated properly before it is released back into our water sources. This means investing in wastewater treatment plants and promoting the use of treated wastewater for irrigation and other non-potable uses.
At Desire Energy, we have made a few commitments to our nation and to the world. Our commitments for SDG partnerships are registered at the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. These are:
To provide clean potable water to every rural household in India, with a target of supplying 55 Litre Per Capita Per Day (LPCD). The outcome of our project Jal Prabal so far includes 257,000 Functional Household Tap Connections (FHTCs), 11265 km of water pipelines laid, 507 overhead service reservoirs, 479 pumphouses, and 300,000 residents supplied with clean water. The project implements energy-efficient solutions, such as solar-based water plants and digital tracking systems, to reduce the dependency on coal and emissions. The expected outcome over a 10-year period includes a cumulative emission reduction of 2,18,820 tCO2e. Moreover, The project is creating employment opportunities, with over 2000 employees staffed on the project. The implementation of new technologies and solutions is also promoting sustainable development and economic growth in rural areas.
In conclusion, I urge all of you to make commitments to the Water Action Decade. Let’s work together to protect our water sources, promote efficient water usage, and treat our wastewater. Let’s make a difference, and let’s ensure that future generations have access to clean water and a sustainable world. If we can save our water, we can save our world.