Groundwater depletion, a growing challenge for India
India is likely to face stark water scarcity in the coming decades as a result of excessive use, according to the World Resources Institute (WRI)’s Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas - a tool to visualise and assess water stress and drought and flood risk covering
Punjab, a small state in northwest India, derives its name from the Persian words panj (five) and ?b (water), meaning the "land of five rivers". Ironically, this state is now regularly in the news for its rapidly depleting groundwater levels.
The ‘Managing Aquifer Recharge and Sustaining Groundwater Use through Village-level Intervention’ (MARVI) project is being undertaken since February 2012 with the overall aim to improve the security of irrigation water supplies and enhance livelihood opportunities for rural communities in India.
Latur in Maharashtra has been facing acute drinking water scarcity over the last month and has been in news again, and that too, inspite of having piped water connections and a good monsoon this year!
Water is a precious natural resource that ensures human well-being. However, across the globe there is a severe water crisis, which is heightened by issues of inaccessibility and contamination.
After independence, India was largely food insecure but post Green Revolution around the 1970s, foodgrain production increased manifold consequently reducing food insecurity and poverty in the country, in spite of rapid population growth. Its ability to achieve targeted results was largely dependent on the explosion of groundwater abstraction mechanisms like tubewells.
The water crisis in Karnataka has not only led to severe agrarian distress in the eastern plains region but also created an acute shortage of domestic water, in both rural and urban areas. The 21st century has seen significant changes in demography, economy and agriculture, increasing the demand for water in the state.
India, a groundwater stressed country
Pune continues to face a water crisis every summer despite having sufficient water, thanks to its geographical location and plentiful natural water assets. While enough of its water needs are taken care of by water supply from the Khadakwasla dam, the use of groundwater to meet the needs of the population continues to increase.