Water crisis worsens: Reservoir levels plummet to alarming extent - The Tribune India

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Water crisis worsens

Reservoir levels plummet to alarming extent

Water crisis worsens

Photo for representation. File photo

The latest data from the Central Water Commission paints a stark picture of India’s water crisis, with reservoirs across the country registering an alarming decline in their levels. As of April 25, the water available in major reservoirs has plummeted to a mere 30 per cent of their storage capacity. This represents a significant drop compared to the previous year. Insufficient rainfall, compounded by the El Nino phenomenon, has resulted in drought-like conditions. The prolonged dry spell has depleted water reserves, leaving many regions parched and vulnerable.

The eastern and southern regions are bearing the brunt of this crisis as the rapid fall in water levels is exacerbated by a relentless heatwave. The consequences are dire, particularly for Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, where water shortage has assumed critical proportions. Bengaluru is grappling with severe water scarcity, which is impacting everyday life and agricultural activities. The ramifications extend beyond the immediate concerns. Agriculture, a cornerstone of India’s economy, is facing major disruptions, with an adverse effect on various crops. With nearly half of India’s arable land dependent on monsoon rain, the upcoming rainy season can play a key role in alleviating the situation.

The forecast of above-normal rainfall offers only cautious optimism. Water conservation efforts must be intensified at all levels, from households to agricultural practices and industrial operations. Investments in water infrastructure and management systems are urgently needed to improve storage and distribution efficiency. Sustainable agricultural practices and crop diversification can help reduce water consumption and enhance resilience to droughts. Awareness campaigns to promote water conservation practices and prudent use of this precious resource must be stepped up. Swift and decisive action must be taken to avert a looming catastrophe and ensure a secure future for all.

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