Every Drop Counts: 100 Crore Indians Dwell In Water Scarce Areas, Finds Study
March 22 is celebrated as ‘World Water Day’ worldwide which aims at conserving this natural resource. A recent study showed the dismal condition of water scarcity that plagues India. The component which comprises more than 70% of human body is not available naturally for 100 crore Indians reported the Economic Times.
A report titled, “Beneath the Surface: The State of the World’s Water 2019” conducted by WaterAid, a non-profit organisation, further explained that of these 100 crore Indians, 60 crore Indians are dwelling in areas of high to extreme water stress. The country is now ranked 120 among 122 countries in the water quality index. The report blamed the significant rise in demand for water resources and by climate and population changes have worsened the physical water scarcity in the country.
Replace rice & wheat
The report further said that the water scarcity of the country would not be resolved until one fix agriculture in India. The report noted that wheat and rice are the two most important crops in the country and requires a lot of irrigation. It suggested that the country can replace these two crops with crops like maize, millets, sorghum. Doing so would reduce the demand for water by one-third. To explain the amount of water required for both wheat and rice, the report noted that one kg of wheat requires and an average of 1,654 litres of water, and one kg of rice requires an average 2,800 litres of water. “In 2014-15, India exported 37.2 lakh tonnes of basmati. To export this rice, the country used around 10 trillion litres of water, meaning India virtually exported 10 trillion litres of water,” said the report
The report further warned that wealthy western countries importing food and clothing are causing hardship for marginal communities to get a daily clean water supply. This means that these countries import products which used a significant amount of water during the product’s production.
World at risk
The report further explained that the world would witness a severe scarcity in future. It said that as of now 400 crore people live in water-scarce areas. The report also noted that the figure could shoot up 500 crore people by 2050. It said that by 2040, 33 countries are likely to face extremely high water stress. The report also noted that the amount of water extracted from groundwater has increased in comparison to water restored by 22% between 2000 and 2010.
The Logical Indian asks all its readers to use water efficiently. Installation of rainwater harvesting system is an essential task in saving and conserving groundwater. We ask our readers to close the tap when the work is done — use of bucket more preferable than using a shower.