Our planet is more ocean than land. But even then, more than half the world’s population is facing extreme water shortage for at least one month a year.
Out of total water available on planet Earth, 97.5% is salty and only 2.5% is fresh water. Of the available 2.5 percent, just 0.5% is accessible to us while the rest 2.0 % is locked in the form of glaciers.
If we look at the human population in relation with the available water, the stats are shocking. Starting off with the world’s most populous country, India itself constitutes 18% of world’s total population that is, 1 billion of total 7.7 billion people.
To your surprise, the total land available with India is 2.5% whereas of the total accessible water on the planet, India has 4% of water resources.
It’s alarming that India has more water resource than the land but even than fails to cater water to it’s population. Despite having 4% of fresh water available, India entered the league of water deficient nations during the 2011 census. Of the 1,869 trillion liters of water reserves, only an estimated 1122 trillion liters can be exploited due to topographic constraints and distribution effects.
At present, about 42% of India is abnormally dry, which is 6% more than 2018. According to NITI AYOG, cities like Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad are among 21 cities in India which may run out of Groundwater in less than a year.
To understand this, it is important to look at the water consumption practices in India. Of the 4% of water resources, 85.3% is used in irrigation activities; 6.6% in Domestic use; 1.3% in Industry, 0.3% in Energy and 6.5% in other tasks.
But India is not the only country which may run dry as water scarcity stares the whole world in the face. Current estimates predict that by 2040, nearly 20 countries could be in the league of water deficient nations. But the question remains why? What is the root cause to the problem and how to deal with the situation?
The demand for water has been increasing at a high pace in the past few decades, and the foremost reason is the alarming rise in population.
In comparison to the available land and water, our population is much more than our capacity to cater it. The population geographically nearer and financially able to pay the cost, are accessible to the scarce water while the large section that is far away from the water reservoirs or financially not sound, lag behind in fetching water.
Secondly, due to immense population, there is over exploitation of ground water. The rise in demand forces human to extend the fetching limits.
Last but not the least, humans even today are unable to use the limited water wisely. There is immense water wastage at the hands of households and well as industry owners. The last and the actual end who is responsible for dealing with water activities is unaware of the vital utilisation of the water.