8 Replies to “Water in India”

  1. Sadly water just like climate change is seen in India as more of a “future/elite” issue and i feel the choke hold which farmers in India have on certain policies (free water, free electricity) will lead to no solution.

    “A 2017 study found that at the current rate of global warming, two-thirds of the Himalayan glaciers could be lost by 2100. This will hit North India the hardest,”

    There is another effect of the glacier melting, coupled with climate change. That’s submersion of land mass in Bangladesh , which i feel will have more political consequences than water. Folks will migrate towards India, whose consequences we are already seeing in surrounding states. Since Bangladesh-India relationship is not like India-Pakistan relationship it will be major issue in coming years

  2. Ground water depletion in the northern states is absolutely alarming: not just
    Delhi, but Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan are seeing a mean depletion rate of 4 +/- 1 cm a year:


    There are simple, low-tech solutions for more sustainable agricultural water consumption (Israeli style drip irrigation) that need to be more aggressively promoted. There’s also that grand plan to interlink major rivers to ameliorate local annual variations in the monsoon:


    This should provide some relief but may not kick in soon enough to avoid a decade or more of extreme water stress in the North. Getting all the environmental (and various other) clearances has held this program up for decades. The logistics behind civil engineering projects in India are not a joke. Here’s a WSJ piece on the challenges experienced in building the Mumbai metro (or, why India isn’t China take 768934)


  3. “This should provide some relief but may not kick in soon enough to avoid a decade or more of extreme water stress in the North.”

    The whole river linking thing which you linked according to some experts in a red herring which will lead to even more disaster. I dont really know whether its just some agenda driven thing (like the whole genetically modified crops-Mostanto) thing or is it genuinely disastrous/ better.

    1. It’s india man. For every good idea that stands to benefit a huge swath of the population you’ll always find ‘experts’ shitting on it.

  4. Exhibit 1337 of why I’m pessimistic about India…

    Falling water tables, a looming premature demographic collapse, intractably anemic education and manufacturing sectors…we’re fked as a country.

    1. You can either abandon ship or you can stay the course and aim to figure out a solution through ingenuity/diligence/luck.

      Pessimism doesn’t make sense.

      1. +1

        Population growth (India’s now getting close to replacement levels of fertility), food security before that, the AIDS catastrophe that never materialized, skewed gender ratios (primarily in the north) that are now bouncing back, crisis after predicted existential crisis, India has confounded the naysayers and always pulls through.

        Water security is a big problem, but solutions are available, it’s just a question of political will. However dysfunctional politics may seem in India, at the highest echelons, it’s a technocracy and problems get solved.

        Shortly after independence, many western observers predicted the impending collapse of a republic founded on universal adult franchise where little over 10% of the population was literate. Pessimists gonna navel gaze. Doers gonna do.

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