Water Scarcity Research Paper

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India’s Water Scarcity The Cauvery River is one of the most revered water systems located in India. Spanning close to 750 kilometers, with a river basin that supplies water to four Indian states, its significance in Indian agriculture, industry, and hydroelectric power is what has supported the bulk of South Indian living for thousands of years. But on September 5, 2016, the supreme court of South Indian state, Karnataka, ordered to “release 15,000 cubic feet of water per second per day from its reservoirs to relieve drought-stricken farmers in neighboring state, Tamil Nadu.” Thousands of Karnataka natives began to riot; as Tamil Nadu claims that “Karnataka has been holding in its rightful reservoirs,” Karnataka argues that “Tamil Nadu is …show more content…
Millions of Indians are affected by the lack of clean water and water resources in order to survive. This paper seeks to investigate the primary causes of water scarcity in India. It will examine India’s supply and demand of water and how they don’t align, the politics and economy of water usage that keep water scarcity an issue, and current solutions and research on this issue that include ongoing conservation efforts. In order to understand India’s water scarcity misfortune, it is important to first analyze India’s water supply and demand. A 2006 statistic cited from the World Bank Institute states that the combined use of water in India equaled 826 billion cubic meters. Two sources these demands stem from include domestic use and agriculture use of water. Currently, 6% of water usage can be attributed to domestic use, which includes basic amenities. According to a UNICEF study of Indian domestic water usage, population growth was to blame for the surge and increase of the direct Indian water footprint. As city goers tend to use higher water usage amenities, such as showers, sinks, and toilets, the shift to urbanization increases this direct water demand considerably (UNICEF, 2002). This demand is slated to increase so …show more content…
Water scarcity in general refers to long-term water imbalance, which combines low water availability with inadequate and inefficient distribution patterns. Historically, India’s focus was to support its ever-growing population by producing the most crop yield and economic growth it could. These efforts often disregarded water conservation in many ways. Examples of this negligence included acquiring cheap electric pumps that would allow anyone to deplete ground water. A whopping “20 million individual wells in all of India are estimated to contribute to this rapid depletion.” Because higher crop yield had historically always been encouraged in order to support Indian agriculture economics as well as Indian livelihood, little thought had been given to conserving water. Even efforts to issue a tax on cheap electric pumps to dissuade the rapid depletion of water were always cast aside, as doing so would upset farm lobbyists (Brooks, 2007). These reasons all contribute to the overall indirect water footprint that leaves much to be desired for its lack of attention to recycling water effectively. Most water scarcity issues were also routinely subjected to political squabble, as the debate between whether water resources decisions should be made at the state or federal level always seemed to trump actually solving

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