“We Never Know the Worth of Water Til the Well is Dry”

Columbia Water Center partners Kamal Vatta and Romit Sen of the Centers for International Projects Trust in India have published a column in the India Water Review in which they call for more attention to India’s urgent groundwater crisis:

“Our country is the largest user of groundwater in the world with an estimated annual use of 230 cubic kilometres,” they write. “More than 60 per cent of irrigated agriculture and 85 cent of drinking water supplies are dependent on groundwater … This gradual increasing dependence on groundwater as a preferable and easily accessible source of water has resulted in indiscriminate extraction in various parts of the country without any concern for the recharging capacities of aquifers and other environmental factors.”

To address the crisis, the authors call for  a rapid increase in the number of observation wells in different regions to get an accurate picture of current groundwater levels, and for a revision of groundwater management policy that includes a mix of regulatory interventions such as water rights or permits, and economic tools, such as abstraction tariffs and tradable water rights.

Read the full column here.

IWR Sept 2014 issue


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