More than 71% of the earth’s surface is covered in water, out of which about 97% is unfit for human consumption or use. However, water is essential for the survival of humankind. This makes water a crucial, and yet highly scarce resource. As pointed out by Rana Kapoor, the founder of Yes Bank, the most important and yet common concern of both the path breaking launch of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) as well as the universal agreement at the Conference of Parties (COP) 21, held in Paris, was the emphasis on the urgent need to focus on conserving water, which is an indispensable shared and collective resource, which is key to the development and survival of humankind. 

Water supports a vast ecosystem and is a major factor that maintains the delicate ecological balance, a disruption in which can wreck havoc on the planet. Yet, we callously continue to misuse and pollute our water resources, putting our own future in grave peril. Rana Kapoor said, “Presently around 1.1 billion people in the world do not have access to clean potable water at all times, while a total of 2.7 billion human beings face acute seasonal scarcity of water. At this rate, it is expected that over half of the world’s population might be facing different degrees of water shortage, resulting in water being a resource Available only in the hands of a select few. In order to stop this from happening, we have to take active actions today!” 

India is s country, where a major section of the rural population is dependent on cultivation, that puts food on the entire country’s plate, which makes our economy heavily dependent on water. In the light of this situation, Yes Bank has pledged to employ their means and resources towards better conservation of water resources and it has conducted its own study on the challenges in water conservation, in order to formulate strategies towards a better and more streamlined path. The findings of the study are alarming. Rana Kapoor quoted, “At present, India’s per capita renewable internal freshwater resources (WB data) stand at an all time low of 1130m3 (very close to water scarcity levels), against a global average of 6013m3. The socio- economic and environmental complexities multiply further with growing inequalities in distribution

and usage of water, and all sectors of the economy and society jostling for a shrinking, more polluted, supply.” 

To address this issue, we also need to delve deeper into the two major causes of depletion of water resources, climate change and water pollution. Rana Kapoor believes that the solution to this comes from a blend of innovative modern technologies, along with the use of traditional conservation practices. Rainwater harvesting is one such practice that can effectively be used to combat seasonal water crisis in areas that face dry seasons, leading to drying up of water resources. Industries should take conscious and active effort to stop dumping industrial wastes and toxic chemicals into water bodies, which effectively wrecks the water supply and even seeps into the soil. Better waste management technology is the need of the hour.

Another major major issue that India, as a developing nation, faces is the lack of funding for quality water infrastructure. While the government already has too much on its hands, making arrangements for the necessary finances is still a huge challenge. This can, however, be mitigated to an extent if the private sector chooses to do its part in investing in the country’s water resources. Yes Bank, led by Rana Kapoor has decided to join hands with local government and non governmental bodies to aid in this fight for clean water. On an individual level the financial institution has already taken several steps towards curbing their water wastage and now they are committed to taking it to the next level for the survival of lives, livelihoods and the planet.