ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Mapping Water Scarcity across Major States of India

Water as a basic natural resource plays a critical role in any country’s economic, ecological, and human development. Water is a state subject in India, and the provision of reliable, safe, and sustainable supply of water has emerged as a challenge due to geographical and institutional constraints. The water scarcity in 11 major states is evaluated through 20 variables that capture the multidimensional aspects of scarcity and the water poverty index. The results clearly indicate an alarming situation as these states face medium to severe scarcity. A sensitivity analysis indicates that the most critical variables impacting the water sector include socio-economic and environmental factors.

Water scarcity is the reality of our times and faced by people all around the globe. The rise in water scarcity and the frequent occurrence of water-related conflicts at the local, state, national, and international levels indicate an immediate need for a holistic approach to address the problem. The physical availability of water resources is essential for a healthy lifestyle, proper sanitation, and environmental needs. Water, as a basic natural resource, also plays a crucial role in any country’s economic, ecological, and human development. The United Nations has recognised the access to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as a basic human right, also enshrined as one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Thus, water resource management plays a crucial role and has been considered the main challenge for emerging economies.

It is a matter of concern for India as nearly 600 million people face high to extreme water stress. Water quality at present is very poor, as India ranks 120 among 122 countries in the water quality index (NITI Aayog 2018). The challenges faced by the selected states in this analysis are different. Government policies and politics play a significant role in water management, as water is a state subject in India. The analysis of water scarcity can help study the role of economic development, political environment, and other factors affecting the water sector. Hence, it will be instructive to see how different states in India manage their water resources given their unique geopolitical challenges.

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Updated On : 16th Aug, 2023
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