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India's water woes.

Nearly 76 million people in India do not have access to safe drinking water, as polluted rivers and poor storage infrastructure over the years has created a water deficit which may become unmanageable in the future

By 2030 India will have a water deficit of 50 per cent.

Access to safe drinking water has been a grave problem for India, especially in rural areas where lack of usable water has resulted in decades old sanitation and health problems.

Government records show that in 1980, just 1% of India's rural areas had access to safe, usable water. By 2013, that had increased to 30%, but the majority of rural India continues to live without proper access to safe drinking water.

A WaterAid report in 2016 ranked India among the worst countries in the world for the number of people without safe water. An estimated 76 million people in India have no access to a safe water supply, and the situation is only getting more serious.

The Asian Development Bank has forecast that by 2030, India will have a water deficit of 50 per cent. The Union Ministry of Water Resources has estimated the country's current water requirements to be around 1100 billion cubic metres per year, which is estimated to be around 1200 billion cubic metres for the year 2025 and 1447 billion cubic metres for the year 2050.

India is not a water scarce country. Along with having major rivers, it receives an average annual rainfall of 1170 millimeters. But lack of sensitization with regard to both conservation of water and pollution of water sources has resulted in a large part of the population for whom water has become more of a curse than a boon.

Water supply in India has two principal sources, namely water from rivers and groundwater. However, the rivers are shrinking because of pollution and industrialization, while the population keeps growing, pushing it towards an enormous water deficit.

Rampant pollution, dumping of sewage waste and abuse of the rivers has led to large sections of important rivers like Ganga and Yamuna becoming unfit for use. Take for instance, the Ganga, which flows through 11 states of India and provides water to more than 500 million people.

Data collected from the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation states that 45,053 villages had access to piped water and handpumps by the end of 2016-17, accounting for 64.19 per cent of India. Almost 19,000 villages across the country still do not receive regular water supply.

Caption: Almost 19,000 villages across India still do not receive regular water supply.

Please Note: Illustration(s) are not available due to copyright restrictions.

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Title Annotation:Asian Analysis
Publication:South Asian Post
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Oct 4, 2018
Words:444
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