India Faces Worst ever Water Crisis
NEW DELHI, June 15 (Xinhua) -- India is facing its worst ever water crisis so far in its history, warned a report prepared by Indian government's ace thinktank and policy adviser the National Institution for Transforming India, or NITI Aayog, on Friday.
Currently 600 million Indians face "high to extreme" water shortage and about 200,000 people die every year due to inadequate access to potable water, the report said.
The water crisis will get worse as the country's water demand is projected to be twice the available supply by 2030, implying severe water scarcity for hundreds of millions of people and an eventual 6 percent loss in the country's GDP, it added.
Titled "Composite Water Management Index," the report was prepared by the "NITI Aayog" in association with the country's Ministry of Water Resources, the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, and the Ministry of Rural Development.
NITI Aayog is India's premier policy thinktank providing both directional and policy inputs to the government. While designing strategic and long term policies and programmes for the government, it also provides relevant technical advice to the center and states.
The report further stated that as many as 21 major cities in the country are most likely to run out of groundwater by 2020, thereby affecting nearly 100 million people.
The report also cited data by independent agencies pointing out that the country's nearly 70 percent of water is contaminated, which puts India at the 120th position among 122 countries in the water quality index.
The low performing states are mainly the populous ones like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Haryana, among others. These states are home to over 600 million people, and account for 20-30 percent of the country's agricultural output.
"Thus, there is an imminent need to deepen our understanding of our water resources and usage and put in place interventions that make our water use efficient and sustainable," said the report.
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