India is not only water-scarce but also getting thirsty, says a new report.
Water is the most common water-soluble commodity in India, and the country has about 1.5 billion people and more than 200 million rivers, lakes and ponds.
It’s also a major source of food, energy, fertilizer and other products, says the report by the India Water Resource Assessment Programme (IWRA).
The report, titled Water, Power and Economic Development in the 21st Century, was released on Tuesday by the government-backed think tank, the Institute for Policy Research and Development (IPRAD).
It said the government has set a target of getting India’s water supply to 20 percent of demand by 2022, and to meet that goal, it will need to spend more than Rs 3,000 crore (USD $3,636) on infrastructure, including new dams, reservoirs and irrigation canals.
It also wants to get water into more homes and small towns, and improve sanitation and water-related infrastructure, the report said.
In the country’s north-eastern states of Assam and Manipur, where the country is in the midst of a drought, water is becoming scarce.
In Manipur and Assam, which are both rich in coal and uranium deposits, the state government is trying to get the country to tap the resources in those mines, which have been drying up.
But that is challenging, said the report.