With 139 crore population, water scarcity in India is on the rise. More than 50% of the population does not have access to safe drinking water and about 2,00,000 people die every year due to either water scarcity or because of diseases caused due to drinking unhygienic water. India is currently facing the biggest water crises. As of June 2019, 65% of the country’s reservoirs were running dry.
In India, more than 600 million people are facing acute water scarcity. About three-quarter of households do not have a drinking water facility. Currently, India ranks 120th among 122 countries in the water quality index. By 2030, India’s water demand is expected to be double that of supply that implies not only water scarcity in India for numerous people but also a loss of around 6 per cent to GDP. This underscores the need for strategic interventions to promote water use efficiency, both at the micro and macro level.
You may not know it, or feel it yet, but every aspect of our society and economy is impacted by this worsening situation. In fact, the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog) described it as “the worst water crisis” in India’s history.
Many rural communities who are situated on the outskirts of urban sprawl also have little choice but to drill wells to access groundwater sources due to water scarcity in India. However, any water system adds to the overall depletion of water. There is no easy answer for water scarcity in India which must tap into water sources for food and human sustenance, but India’s overall water availability is running dry.
India needs solutions now. Children in 100 million homes in the country lack water and one out of every two children are malnourished. Environmental justice needs to be restored to India so that families can raise their children with dignity, and providing water to communities is one such way to best ensure that chance.