India is facing an alarming prospect of becoming water scarce in 10 years' time, or by 2025, the government has said citing a study by a consulting firm in the water sector.
In his reply to a question in Lok Sabha, minister of state for water resources Sanwar Lal Jat on Friday said that consulting firm 'Everything About Water' (EA Water) has concluded that India's demand for water is expected to exceed all current sources of supply and the country is set to become water scarce by the year 2025.
According to the minister, the average annual water availability for the country has been assessed by the Central Water Commission to be at 1,869-billion cubic metres (BCM). But due to topographical, hydrological and other constraints, the utilisable water has been estimated to be about 1,123 BCM, he added.
The National Commission for Integrated Water Resources Development, in a 1999 report, had said that the annual water requirement by 2025 and 2050 will be about 843 BCM and 1,180 BCM, respectively, Jat further said.
Noting that several steps for augmentation, conservation and efficient management of water resources are undertaken by state governments, he said that the Centre provides technical and financial assistance in order to supplement their efforts.