India may face serious water problems
Most of the water used for cities, industry and agriculture comes from groundwater. There are virtually no restrictions on groundwater use so anyone can drill a well and pump as much water as they need. There is also no cost for the water and electricity is subsidized, so pumping is cheap. There are an estimated 20 plus million wells in India. Many industries pump water from underground aquifers and dump the polluted water into rivers and canals.
The information suggests that India faces a serious water problem even now and that the problem will get much worse over the next decade or so. Government officials have put forward a plan to divert water from rivers to dry areas, but accomplishing this will be extremely difficult. Costs are huge, there would be major environmental impacts, and other countries downriver would have to agree since they depend on the water in these rivers. Over time, farmers may have to reduce the amount of water used for irrigation as other demands for water increase. That could have major implications for world grain trade. With India’s population rising at about 15 million per year, the day of reckoning may not be too far into the future.
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