When the rains come: How India can avoid water shortages
Posted On July 29, 2021
By Gaurav Dixit | Reuters India’s government is struggling to keep the lights on as the nation’s population grows, with water shortages and poor sanitation in some places making life miserable.
As part of its ambitious Water Policy Bill, the Indian government announced that it is setting aside an additional Rs 10 lakh crore to purchase and install 100,000 water tanks and 200,000 wellheads by 2021.
It is the third such project announced in the past year.
The government also plans to install water-purifying filters in about 1,200 rural villages in the state of West Bengal.
The state has the highest number of households without piped water in India, with about 4 million households without a toilet.
Some of the problems facing the population include lack of access to water, poor sanitation, poor health care, and lack of toilets, according to the World Bank.
The Indian government says it has already bought 100,0000 water tanks in the first five months of the year, and it plans to add another 200,0000 by 2021, though not all the tanks have been completed yet.
India is expected to surpass 1 billion people by 2030.
The country also has an estimated 7.6 billion people, or 7.8 percent of the world’s population, who lack access to adequate drinking water.
The main cause of water shortages is poor sanitation and lack, or poor supply, of clean drinking water sources, such as tap water, municipal drinking water, and wells, according a World Bank report.
According to the report, India is facing an urgent need for 1.3 billion new toilets, a need that is likely to grow by a factor of six to 10 in the next 10 years.
It also said that India needs an additional 1.4 billion new wells.
The report noted that while India has the lowest rate of water consumption per capita of any country, the nation also has the second highest rate of groundwater consumption, with groundwater levels reaching as high as 2,200 feet above sea level.