India is facing its worst-ever water crisis, with 21 cities predicted to run out of groundwater by next year and nearly 600 million people facing acute shortages. Rapid urbanisation, pollution, over-extraction of groundwater, climate change and inefficient use of water are among the causes. Over 40% of India’s population is affected by drought. The government has responded with conservation, augmentation and improved water management strategies, including the construction of new water harvesting structures and renovation of existing water bodies, river cleaning projects and promotion of drip irrigation. Water-efficient devices and practices in households and regulations on groundwater extraction are also being encouraged.
India Faces Worst Water Crisis in History: Govt Plans Emergency Measures
India is grappling with one of the worst water crises in its history, with nearly half of the country facing severe water scarcity. According to a report released by the government’s think tank, NITI Aayog, over 600 million Indians are facing acute water shortage, with 21 Indian cities predicted to run out of groundwater by 2020. The alarming situation has prompted the government to introduce a range of emergency measures to address the crisis.
Causes of Water Crisis in India
The water crisis in India is primarily caused by a combination of factors such as rapid urbanization, overexploitation of groundwater resources, inefficient use of water, pollution, and climate change. The soaring demand for water due to the rising population and industrialization has also contributed significantly to the crisis.
The NITI Aayog report identified 40% of India’s population as being affected by drought, putting intense pressure on the country’s agriculture sector, which heavily depends on rivers, groundwater, and monsoon rains. The situation is further compounded by the weak infrastructure for water supply and management, which has led to a significant discrepancy between water availability and demand in cities.
Emergency Measures by the Government
The Indian government has responded to the crisis with several emergency measures such as conservation, augmentation, and improving water management strategies. The measures aim to ensure that the country’s water supply, which is critical for agriculture, industry, and household needs, is sustainable and reliable.
The government’s efforts include the construction of new water harvesting structures, renovation of existing water bodies, and promotion of micro-irrigation techniques such as drip irrigation. The government has also launched a scheme targeting a 20% reduction in water consumption by industries and revenue generation through water recycling.
The government has also invested heavily in river cleaning projects to curb water pollution and preserve the country’s freshwater bodies. The government has encouraged the use of water-efficient devices and practices by households, promoting rainwater harvesting in urban areas, and introducing legislations to regulate groundwater extraction.
Q: Is water scarcity a new issue in India?
A: No, water scarcity has long been a problem in India, but it has worsened over the years due to climate change, population explosion, and weak water infrastructure.
Q: Who is most affected by the water crisis in India?
A: Nearly half of the Indian population is affected by the water crisis, with farmers, low-income households, and marginalized communities being the most affected.
Q: What are some of the measures taken by the government to address the water crisis?
A: The government has introduced several measures aimed at conserving water, promoting efficient water management, and reducing water consumption by industries. The measures include the construction of new water harvesting structures, promotion of micro-irrigation techniques, river cleaning, and the regulation of groundwater extraction.
Q: Has the government’s efforts been effective in addressing the water crisis?
A: The government’s efforts have yielded some positive results, but more needs to be done to ensure sustainable water supply to meet the growing demand. Water management must be a priority in India, with effective monitoring and regulation, water conservation, and better infrastructure for water supply and management.