UNESCO report predicts India’s major water crisis by 2050 before World Water Day

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According to a report released by UNESCO before World Water Day, India will be confronting a devastating water crisis by 2050. It’s not news that Indians and the Indian government take water for granted. But maybe it’s time to change something.

The report suggests that by 2050, Central India will see a withdrawal of 40 percent of its renewable water resources. More than half of all Indian rivers are extremely polluted. The contamination isn’t limited to the surface water sources but the groundwater sources as well. The report was released on 19th March 2018 at the 8th edition of the World Water Forum in Brasil.

The factors that will lead to water shortage in the world is uncontrolled population growth and climate change. Currently, there are 2 billion people without access to drinking water. There are some glimmers of hope for India through, such as the water harvesting efforts in Rajasthan that have solved water problems for over 1000 villages. But the solutions have been slow to come while problems have quickly escalated. In the last 5 years, the number of polluted rivers has increased from 121 to 275. This is largely due to the vast amounts of untreated sewage being released into the rivers.

Groundwater is also getting depleted fast in Punjab, Haryana, and Delhi with an increased risk of salinity. The centre is not doing enough to combat the issue. Amidst water-sharing issues between states and demanding for the status of a special status, the government doesn’t have the time to resolve the real issues that will soon hit the country if unchecked. The report also said that amongst the cities that were heading quickly to ‘Day Zero’, Bengaluru is one of them. To paint a drastic picture, Day Zero means that the city’s taps will go dry. This is not the kind of wake-up call you can press snooze on and go back to sleep a hundred times before you’re ready to wake up. If we don’t wake up now we might as well not wake up at all.