India’s wells are running dry, fast

Across rural India, water bodies, including man-made lakes and reservoirs, are fast disappearing after decades of neglect and pollution.
For the past 2,500 years, India has managed its water needs by increasing supply.
Water scarcity is also exacerbated by a growth in water-intensive industries, such as thermal power production, extraction and mining, as India seeks to feed and power its growing population.
For nearly 50 years, a misguided groundwater policy has sucked India dry; water tables have declined by an average of one metre every three years in some parts of the Indus basin, turning it into the second most over-stressed aquifer in the world, according to NASA.
According to the Third World Centre for Water Management, only about 10% of waste water in the country is collected and properly treated.
What conservation?
Excess consumption is attributable in part to citizen indifference about conserving water after so many years of plentiful supply.
The century-long conflict over the Cauvery River, for example, involves Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka – three major south Indian states.
With each state demanding ever more water, the river simply cannot keep up.
Even policies from the national government, which claims to target water conservation and demand management, remain reliant on supply-side solutions.

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