India is expected to experience severe water stress by 2020 with the per capita availability of water projected to be less than 1,000 cubic metres.
Indian water scenario was a matter of grave concern, as 85 per cent of water was used for agriculture, 10 per cent for industry and five per cent for domestic use, according to a paper presented at a national symposium in Coimbatore.
Being a developing nation with a large population on the negative side of the poverty line, economic water scarcity (limited access to fresh water due to lower affordability) assumed equal, if not, greater importance as that of physical water scarcity, it said.
Quoting a world Bank study, it said of the 27 Asian cities with population of over 10 lakh, Chennai and Delhi were ranked as the worst performing metropolitan cities in terms of water availability per day, while Mumbai was ranked as second worst performer and Calcutta fourth.
Severe water shortage had already led to a growing number of conflicts across the country, with 90 per cent of India’s territory served by inter-state rivers.
The row over river Cauvery between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, Godavari between Maharashtra and Karnataka, Narmada between Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat are some of the confilcts, the paper said.