Decoding India's water crisis

What drives India's water crisis?

Building effective solutions that address India’s water crisis requires an understanding of our unique and challenging water footprint. Here is a ready reckoner:

How much rainfall does India get in a year?

17%

17%

of precipitation in India is available for agriculture, industry, household use

What is the imminent water demand-supply gap?

If demand for water grows based on current use trends, India will have

half the water

half

it needs by 2030

What drives India’s growing demand for water?

Agriculture takes up nearly

80%

of India’s freshwater use

Why does agriculture need so much water?

Why does agriculture need so much water?

A: Large area under water intensive crops
A: Large area under water intensive crops

Rice, wheat, cotton, and sugarcane are grown on

over half

None

of India’s cultivable land

Rice, wheat, cotton, and sugarcane are grown on

over half

54%

of India’s cultivable land

B: More water used to grow a unit of food

Water use efficiency for key crops in India is significantly lower than comparable countries

Where does the agriculture procure water from?

Two-thirds

of water for agriculture comes from groundwater extracted through over 30 million wells

What has extensive groundwater extraction led to?

60%

of India's districts face either groundwater quality or availability challenges

Who is at risk?

70%

of India’s rural households depend on agriculture. The future of their livelihoods is at risk

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