Nearly 50% of India is currently facing drought: IIT Gandhinagar scientists
Nearly 50 per cent of the country is currently facing drought with at least 16 per cent falling in the "exceptional" or "extreme" category, according to IIT Gandhinagar scientists managing India’s real-time drought prediction system.
This ongoing drought will pose a lot of challenges in water availability this summer, Vimal Mishra, associate professor at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) here, told PTI.
The results of the simulations, prepared by the Water and Climate Lab at IIT Gandhinagar, are available on the website of the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
"Arunachal Pradesh did not get good rain this year, and parts of Jharkhand, southern Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, and northern part of Tamil Nadu are under drought," Mishra said.
On the other hand, drought conditions are making us extract more and more water," he said.
While famine-like conditions are not expected, the drought will have a massive impact on the economy.
"If our groundwater is not recharged and managed sustainably, we could face a very difficult situation in the coming years," Mishra said, adding that groundwater is being used irresponsibly at present.
If we already have depleted groundwater we should not grow water-intensive crops.
Conserving water in urban homes is just a drop in the bucket compared to steps that can be taken in the agriculture sector, he said.
He also stressed the need to equip ourselves better to tackle a drought situation, "The government thinks drought is a reactive situation, that they will provide a relief only once there is a crisis But with the data available they can take proactive measures to prevent a water crisis," Mishra said.