Booming Economy, but No Water

"How do you operate a plant without electricity?" Green asked as he was escorted away from the plant by government workers, shaking his head. "The interception and delivery of sewage to the treatment process requires electricity, and the treatment process requires electricity, and when the electricity is not available, obviously those two facilities cannot operate."

The organization that Mishra leads has taken the government to court to try and force it to fund their plan. So far, there has been no movement.

"If we are successful here, it will be a very, very inspiring model for all the river cities of India, for all these cities situated along the river," he said. "Because so much money has been spent, from 1986 to this date, but no river … has been cleaned. I think we need commitment, I think we need faith and love for the environment and I think we need to act in rational decisions for science and technology."

In New Delhi, the solution lies in management instead of technology.

"The government currently focuses on bringing in more water from a huge distance," Srinivasan said. But instead, if the city made the distribution more equal, reduced the amount of leaks and rebuilt crumbling pipelines, "everyone in the city can get water without any problem."

Which is exactly what this city and this country needs if it's going to continue its advancement.

"We need water for everything," Mitlesh Kumar said. "If there is no water, what will we do?"

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