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India Ranks 13 On National Water Stress Rankings Across Globe

While the Middle East and North African countries are the most water-stressed areas, World Bank informs that the region has the highest expected economic losses on account of climate-related water scarcity which is estimated to be at 6-14 per cent of GDP by 2050.

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Amidst the water crisis creating havoc in the nation, a World Resources Institute (WRI) report informs that India comes under the “Extremely Stressed” baseline while being ranked at number 13th globally. The World Resources Institute (WRI) report talks about the Chennai reservoirs running low and images of its dry lakes have caught the attention of the world through social media.

The WRI has found these highly alarming inputs through its new hydrological models. It highlights that the institute has found that the water withdrawals have doubled globally since the 1960s due to growth in demand by the swelling population, which is not going to decrease in the coming future.

The report says, “WRI’s Aqueduct tools reveal that 17 countries – home to one-quarter of the world’s population—face “extremely high” levels of baseline water stress, where irrigated agriculture, industries and municipalities withdraw more than 80 per cent of their available supply on average every year. Forty-four countries, home to one-third of the world, face “high” levels of stress, where on average more than 40% of available supply is withdrawn every year.” 

While the Middle East and North African countries are the most water-stressed areas, World Bank informs that the region has the highest expected economic losses on account of climate-related water scarcity which is estimated to be at 6-14 per cent of GDP by 2050.

The report highlights that India’s water stress goes beyond the surface and while considering NITI Aayog’s Water Composite Report, puts ranks India at 13th for the overall water stress and has more than three times the population of the other 17 extremely highly stressed countries combines. The Aqueduct data through which the report has been made considers both surface and groundwater stress. It also informs that addition to lakes and rivers and streams, India’s groundwater is utilized severely for irrigation purposes. And, groundwater tables in some northern aquifers declined at a rate of 8 cm per year from 1990-2014.

The report also highlighted various ways to reduce water stress which includes an increase in agriculture efficiency, investing in grey and green infrastructure, reuse of treated wastewater.

The institute has also highlighted the Jal Shakti Ministry’s efforts to uplift the groundwater status of the country. It also suggested a few other solutions including conserving and restoring lakes.





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