Water Scarcity: India’s Silent Crisis
According to data from India’s Ministry of Water Resources, though the country hosts 18 percent of the world’s population, its share of total usable water resources is only 4 percent.
Experts say India’s gargantuan population increases the country’s vulnerability to water shortage and scarcity.
In 2016, a whopping 300 districts (or nearly half of India’s 640 districts) were under the spell of an acute drinking water shortage across India.
The country’s freshwater is also under great stress.
Five seasonal rivers in the state which had nearly dried up have since become perennial.
Contamination of fresh water sources by industrial waste has sullied the waters of all major rivers.
Now researchers from the US-based World Resources Institute, after analysing all of India’s 400 thermal power plants, report that its power supply is under threat from water scarcity.
The researchers found that 90 percent of these thermal power plants are cooled by freshwater, and nearly 40 percent of them experience high water stress.
Clashes with neighbours — Pakistan over the River Indus and River Sutley in the west and north and with China to the east with the River Brahmaputra — have become increasingly common.
Indian farmers are being sensitized about the latest irrigation techniques such as drip irrigation, and utilizing more rainwater harvesting to stem the loss of freshwater sources.