Home > Coming Events, World Events > Water supplies may run out by 2030 in India: Study

Water supplies may run out by 2030 in India: Study

January 12, 2012


Palmer Drought Severity Index, which assigns positive numbers when conditions are unusually wet for a particular region, and negative numbers when conditions are unusually dry. A reading of -4 or below is considered extreme drought. Regions that are blue or green will likely be at lower risk of drought, while those in the red and purple spectrum could face more unusually extreme drought conditions. (Courtesy Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews, redrawn by UCAR. This image is freely available for media use.

Water supplies will begin running out in critical regions where they support cities, industries and food production — including in India, China and the Middle East — by 2030 due to over-extraction of groundwater, a scientist has warned.

“The world has experienced a boom in groundwater use, more than doubling the rate of extraction between 1960 and 2000 — with usage continuing to soar up to the present,” says Craig Simmons, director of the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training (NCGRT).

A recent satellite study has revealed falling groundwater tables in the US, India, China, Middle East and North Africa, where expanding agriculture and cities have increased water demand.

“Groundwater currently makes up about 97 percent of all the available fresh water on the planet and presently accounts for about 40 percent of our total water supply,” says Simmons, also a member of Unesco’s global groundwater governance programme, according to a NCGRT statement.

“Not many people think of groundwater as a key driver of the global economy — yet it is. If it becomes depleted, entire industries may be forced to shut down or move. Whole regions could face acute water scarcity.”

“Over-extraction also has serious implications for the environment, especially when the climate is warming — as falling water tables can lead to emptying lakes and rivers and dying landscapes as the water they depended on is withdrawn,” Simmons says.

In the Middle East, depleted aquifers have been a major driver of the relocation of agriculture to Africa and the so-called ‘land grab’ by wealthy countries.

Even advanced nations such as the United States face a crisis in their use of groundwater, says Robert Glennon, law professor at the University of Arizona.

“Groundwater now comprises one-quarter of the US supply and more than half of all Americans rely on groundwater for drinking. Unconstrained drilling of new wells, as many as 800,000 per year, has put incredible strain on aquifers around the US,” he says.

  1. January 12, 2012 at 9:40 am

    Mother Earth resources have been under attack for a very long time … yet I consider that the enemy is not that of the Mother Earth’s people …

    And those enemies who have been raping the Mother Earth have no regards or respect for the people of the Mother Earth .

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