Skip to content

Decoding India’s water crisis

Is there really a water crisis in India?

India is on the cusp of imminent water shortage. With current usage patterns, India will have only half the water it needs by 2030 – a dire situation for a nation that is home to 18 percent of the world’s people.

Water supply demand chart

Where does India get water from?

Precipitation (rain, snow, etc.) is the primary source of water for the country. However, ~80 percent of total rainfall is confined to the monsoons June to September.

In addition, only 17 percent of this annual precipitation is available for human use – across agriculture, industry and household uses.

Agriculture is the largest user of water, consuming 80 percent of the available water.

Diagram showing water use.

How is this gap managed?

To close this gap 66 percent of the water used in agriculture comes from groundwater. Groundwater is being used at an increasing rate which is causing the depletion of the water tables across the country.

Ground water pie chart

How does this impact the nation?

60 percent of districts currently face groundwater availability and/or quality challenges.

While the demand-supply gap will impact all of us, those whose livelihood is dependent upon agriculture (70 percent of India’s population or 980 million people) are especially vulnerable.

Pie chart showing 60% districts critical

There is no time to lose! We need to act now to help manage our water resources more efficiently!

Back to top