Business, Economics and Jobs

India To Face Water Stress By 2020

While nearly two-thirds of the world's countries will be water-stressed by 2025, the problem is going to be more acute in Asia, in particular India which is likely to be water stressed by 2020, India's Economic Times quoted a top U.S. State Department official as saying.

Well, this is one for the Department of the Obvious, of course, though browbeating sometimes has its merits. Already the poorest Indians pay a disproportionate part of their incomes for water. Virtually nowhere in the country (apart from Mysore, apparently) do people have constant access to clean, potable tap water. And it's a fact of life for most people that you have to stand in line for hours to get a couple buckets full to use for the day. 

Global warming will certainly make these problems worse, as Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Robert Blake said, but most of India's current problems stem from mismanagement -- including poor or nonexistent sewage treatment, indiscriminate use of pesticides, ill-designed fee structures for water in major cities and programs like free electricity for farmers that encourage wastage of groundwater to name a few.

According to the paper, Blake said his department "is working together with other agencies and in developing programs and partnerships with governments in the region to promote the deployment of clean, low-carbon energy technology - which often reduces the consumption of water by the power sector - and to reduce emissions of black carbon from cement plants."