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water crisis - Shanmugam IAS academy in coimbatore
water crisis


What’s in news?

A quarter of the world’s population is living in regions of extremely high water stress with “once unthinkable” water crises becoming common.

Key data’s:

  • The World Resources Institute (WRI) has revealed in a report, with the climate crisis biting, 17 countries, home to one in four people on the planet, are deemed to be “extremely high water-stressed,” meaning they are now consuming more than 80% of their available water every year.
  • Twelve out of the 17, extremely high water stressed countries are in the Middle East and North Africa. In fact, 12 out of the top 17 most water stressed countries listed by WRI were located in this hot and dry region, collectively known as MENA.
  • Using a new hydrological model, which paints a more accurate picture of water risk than ever before, WRI researchers have calculated that global water withdrawals have more than doubled since 1960.
  • The growing shortages are fuelling the risk of conflict in such countries, concentrated in the Middle East and North Africa.
  • Qatar is ranked as the world’s most water-stressed country, followed by Israel and Lebanon, Iran and Jordan. In Africa, Libya and Eritrea are suffering the worst shortages.
  • India, ranked 13th in the world for water stress, has more than three times the population of the other 16 countries in the “extremely stressed” category combined. In June, Chennai became the first major Indian city to face an acute water shortage. 
  • The USA ranks 71st on WRI’s list, but the state of New Mexico are classed as experiencing extremely high stress levels.
  • The consequences are in plain sight in the form of food insecurity, conflict and migration, and financial instability.

India and Water crisis:

  • India has the second largest population in the world.
  • Although India has made improvements over the past decades to both the availability and quality of municipal drinking water systems, its large population has stressed planned water resources and rural areas are left out. 
  • India’s water crisis is often attributed to lack of government planning, increased corporate privatization, industrial and human waste and government corruption.
  • In addition, water scarcity in India is expected to worsen as the overall population is expected to increase to 1.6 billion by year 2050.
  • To that end, global water scarcity is expected to become a leading cause of national political conflict in the future, and the prognosis for India is no different.


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