Inadequate rainfall leading to drought and water scarcity has become a widespread phenomenon in India. Central Water Commission on May 10, 2019, issued a drought advisory – on water storage in dams dropping to a “critical” level. The advisory was Tamil Nadu and six other states including Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
A drought advisory is issued when the water level in reservoirs is 20 per cent less than the average of live water storage figures for the past ten years.
India is facing the worst water crisis in its history. According to a new report of the NITI Aayog, by 2020, 100 million people will be affected by a shortage of groundwater in 21 Indian cities including Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad. And about 40 per cent of India’s population will have no access to drinking water by 2030.
In India, about 2,00,000 people die every year due to inadequate access to safe water, according to the ‘Composite Water Management Index’ (CWMI) report, released on June 14, 2018. The situation is expected to worsen as demand for water is going to increase after 2050.
Considering the intensity of the problem, there is an urgent need to find ways to mitigate the issue of water scarcity and drought.
According to a report released by a team of researchers from Canada’s McGill University and Utrecht University in the Netherlands, “Irrigation techniques, industrial and residential habits combined with climate change lie at the root of the problem.”
The situation is really bad, to say the least. Water is the fundamental requirement for life to exist. If water is depleted, how can we expect our present generation as well as the future generation to exist and flourish. This calls for immediate policy level reforms by the government to be undertaken as a priority.