Target: Government of Goa
Goal: Don’t allow Goa’s tourism industry to excessively consume water resources, depleting water quality, availability and accessibility for residents.
In the small Indian state of Goa, the unsustainable thirst for economic growth through tourism has severely disrupted the local water management infrastructure. Beaches are increasingly polluted, locals are forced to abandon family wells and disproportionate water consumption levels are depleting water quality, availability and accessibility. The local government must intervene and regulate the tourism industry’s use of water resources.
Goa’s economy relies heavily on the thriving tourism industry of the region, and with growing numbers of hotels and resorts, more and more resources are funneled into supporting those endeavors. Tourism Concern reports that local residents in Benaulim use just 14 liters (about three and half gallons) of water a day, while an average hotel guest in the five star hotel uses almost 1800 liters. Such disparity in consumption and allocation is a sobering depiction of a value system which exploits local interests for capital gain.
Pollution and excessive water consumption by tourist entities leave many locals with unusable wells from which to draw water. Encouraged to utilize piped water, some communities are forced to wait for an allotted time–two hours every two days–to receive such water. As public access to water for local citizens becomes a daily struggle, the neighboring resort’s golf course grows greener than ever, its swimming pools overflowing and its guests never left to wonder why the turn of a faucet yields no liquid return.
The lure of state-of-the art resorts in exotic locales drive tourists, and money, to places like Goa. It must be acknowledged that Goa’s local economy thrives because of the tour operations, luxury hotels and all the usual tourist attractions. However, money-driven, short-term water planning inevitably lends itself to dramatic long-term environmental and fiscal collapse.
If the current trend continues, Goa tourist brochures, with inviting poolside appeals to vacationers, will become a sad historical memory replaced by national and global pleas for aid from a waterless land and a dying people. Goa must stop the unsustainable use of water resources for its tourist industry and make a concerted effort to improve regulations on water use and appropriation.
Dear Government of Goa,
As your economy grows, buoyed by the thriving tourist industry, your villagers and communities struggle mightily to stay afloat amidst a floundering water infrastructure. Some villages, as their wells become unusable due to pollution and overconsumption, are forced to use piped water which may only come for a paltry two hours every two days.
Goa’s resorts, golf courses, swimming pools, and most other tourist-driven projects require extensive consumption of water resources. Without strong regulations of water usage, pollution and lack of local water sources have become alarming realities for local citizens. A society driven by tourism can indeed flourish if it is done in a sustainable manner. However, given the current state of local communities and habitats, Goa is clearly lacking in sufficient water management infrastructure.
This is a problem that will not go away just because of a booming economy. Natural resources of the earth aren’t driven by any bottom line other than one of sustainable balance. Take action to ensure this balance is met so that access to water resources remains a viable, quality option for local villagers and their families. After all, they are the ones serving your tourists dinner, cleaning their pools, and mowing their golf courses.
[Your Name Here]