Day Zero glares at 21 cities across country

Sanjay Job, DNA on June 30, 2019

About 50% of the country is at present grappling with water shortage. The situation is grim in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Nearly 80% of districts in Karnataka and 72% in Maharashtra are hit by drought and crop failure. More than 82 lakh farmers in these states are striving to survive. Over 6,500 tankers are supplying water in the drought hit villages from 151 tehsils in Maharashtra.

A Niti Aayog in its report released last year has estimated that India's water demand by 2030 will be twice its available supply. The total water resource base for India, including surface and groundwater, is 2,518 billion cubic meter (bcm). In India, only 690 bcm of 1,869 bcm (37%) surface water resources can actually be utilised because of contamination. Only 230 bcm of the 400 bcm (58%) groundwater is accessible. Furthermore, the groundwater, the source of 40 percent of India's water needs, is depleting at an unsustainable rate, the Niti Aayog said in its report. A data compiled by the union water resources ministry says some 21 cities, including Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai, could all run out of groundwater as early as 2020.

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