India is facing its largest ever water crisis
A recent report, called The Niti Aayog Report, conducted by a government think tank has revealed that India is facing its worst ever water crisis.
The report has evaluated data from 24 of India’s 29 states and revealed that 600 million people are facing an acute water shortage, with the crisis expected to worsen in coming years.
It also estimates that 21 cities are likely to run out of groundwater by 2020. This would severly threaten food security in the country as 80% of water is used for Agriculture in India.
It is fairly common for Indian cities and towns to run out of water in summer months as they lack the infrastructure to deliver water to every home.
Water shortages also severely effect rural areas which cannot rely on groundwater due to erratic rains and the preservation of groundwater for farming in the event that monsoon season is delayed.
Each year around 200,000 people in India die because they cannot access clean water.
The pressure on India’s water resources and infrastructure is expected to increase as the country’s population booms. The report suggests that demand will double by 2030.
The report also suggests that water shortages could account for a 6% loss of India’s GDP by 2030.
However, the report also indicated improvements in India’s water resources and management as 15 of the 24 states scored higher than the previous year.
Gujarat in the west of India scored the highest in the report, followed by Madya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh.
The report raised concerns over the lowest scoring states, such as Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Jharkhand, as these are home to almost half of India’s total population and the majority of its agricultural activity.
The AIDF Asia Summit is taking place next week on 20-21 June in Bangkok, Thailand.
If you’d like to stay informed on the latest updates in aid and development, please sign up for the AIDF newsletter.