According to a report by the Niti Aayog, India is facing the “ worst water crisis ” in its history. Mismanagement, climate change and drought are some of the reasons for this. Further, rapid population growth has accelerated the demand for water. The report, titled ‘Composite Water Management Index’ (CWMI), was released by Minister for Water Resources Nitin Gadkari.
Mismanagement is a major cause for India’s worst water crisis. Water spills by tankers and pipeline leaks are common in the country. The government hopes the report will help states assess and improve management of water resources.
According to the report, around two lakh people are dying every year due to inadequate access to safe water. “Currently, 600 million Indians face high to extreme water stress and about two lakh people die every year due to inadequate access to safe water,” it states.
It adds that the situation will only get worse. “By 2030, the country’s water demand is projected to be twice the available supply, implying severe water scarcity for hundreds of millions of people and an eventual 6 per cent loss in the country’s GDP.”
The best performing states in efficient management of water resources for the year 2016-17 were Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra. The worst were Jharkhand, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
India is placed at 120th among 122 countries in the water quality index.