Water level to fall, warns TERI
A Tata Energy Research Institute (Teri) study says annual per capita water availability in India is going to fall by 67 per cent in the next 50 years.
The water availability in the first fifty years of independence fell by 62 per cent from 6008 cubic metres in 1947 to 2266 cubic metres in 1997. And if business continued as usual, it is going to fall from 2266 cubic metres to 750 cubic metres in the next 50 years.
Teri Director R.K. Pachauri has warned that in the absence of policies and strategies for efficient water management, the country may move from a state of "water stress" to "water scarcity".
Dr Pachauri was presenting the study ‘Looking Back to Change Track’, which looks back at TERI's earlier Green-India 1947-1997 study, in which the institute had assessed the damage to India’s environment in the first 50 years of Independence. The new Teri study projects the impact of development on the environment and natural resources over the next 50 years (1997-2047).
By 2047, he said, seven of the 20 agro ecological zones are projected to have a situation of water scarcity (annual per capital availability of less than 1000 cubic metres) or absolute scarcity(less than 500 cubic metres).
Pachauri also warned of the increasing pollution levels in rivers across India. Indian rivers still continue to be filthy, he said, and expressed alarm at the increase in BOD levels (biochemical oxygen demand).
The BOD level provides a rough idea of how much biodegradable waste is present in the water.