Socio-Environmental Issues: (Water Crisis)

Published on 30-Aug-2019 – Water Crisis

Water Crisis in India: Issue of water stress

Approx Read Time: 4 minutes
  • Water Crisis: India is 17% of world’s population, but has only 4% of the world’s freshwater resources.
  • Per capita annual availability: 1,544 cubic meter.
  • 5 out of 20 largest cities under water stress are in India.
  • No access to drinking water-75% of Indian households.
  • No access to piped water-90% of rural households.
  • Economic Survey 2018-19, by 2050, India will be extremely susceptible to water insecurity.

Corporations can play a key role (Water Crisis Solution):

In water management, corporations can play a more active role in using their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts towards innovation and conservation of water, along with the dissemination of proven practices to conserve and harness water recharge.

Examples of effective initiatives by corporations:

ITC’s integrated water management: ITC’s integrated watershed development programme covers over one million acres spread across 15,000 water harvesting structures, benefiting over 300,000 people in 43 districts across 16 states and has generated over six million person-days of employment within project villages, reducing levels of distress migration.

It is now extended to implement four large-scale river basin regeneration projects for achieving water balance and year-round environmental flows in select sub-basins in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Madhya Pradesh

  • Pilot programme on water use efficiency in agriculture: at scale on “water use efficiency in agriculture” is also being promoted to enable effective demand-side management and has yielded water savings of 20% to 45% in crops like sugarcane, wheat, rice and banana.
  • Tata’s Water Mission: aims to provide better access to pure water for six million people spread across 7,000 villages in 12 states, by 2020, Key focus areas are to improve access to safe water and sanitation, and to make a difference through rigorous and technologically advanced interventions.
  • PepsiCo’s sustainability agenda: Under its 2025 sustainability agenda, Pepsico is said to aim for a global improvement in water use efficiency in high water risk areas of its direct agricultural supply chain by 15% by 2025.
  • Mahindra Hariyali programme: the initiative is a social upsurge where tree planting is not merely a duty, but, in fact, is termed a celebration. Since 2007, this initiative has achieved a target of planting 16 million saplings.

Cost of Land Degradation:

  • 2018 World Bank study reported that the cost of environmental degradation to India is about $80 billion per year, that amounts to around 5.7% of our GDP.
  • India ranked 155 out of 178 countries in Environment Survey.
  • India ranked last among the BRICS nations.


  • Community management of water is needed.
  • Corporations must make water conservation and management their top CSR concern.
  • This will range from corporate engagement to smaller-scale community initiatives, to individual efforts.
  • Now, the entire ecosystem must work cooperatively to ensure India’s water conservation efforts are forward-thinking while leveraging synergies from the State, corporations, and the community as a whole.

Also Read: Special Forces of India

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