New Delhi: India is suffering from the worst water crisis in its history and millions of lives and livelihoods are under threat, said the NITI Aayog. It also warned that the crisis was only going to get worse and by 2030, the country’s water demand is projected to be twice the available supply, implying severe water scarcity for hundreds of millions of people and an eventual six per cent loss in the country’s GDP.
Currently, 600 million Indians face high to extreme water stress and about two lakh people die every year due to inadequate access to safe water, said the NITI Aayog report on Composite Water Management Index (CWMI) released on Thursday which aims to enable effective water management in Indian states in the face of this growing crisis. The report ranks Gujarat at the top in managing its water resources in the reference year (2016-17) followed by Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra. The worst states include Jharkhand, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
Among Northeastern and Himalayan states, Tripura has been adjudged number one in 2016-17 followed by Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Assam. In terms of incremental change in index (over 2015-16 level), Rajasthan holds number one position in general states and Tripura ranks at first position among Northeastern and Himalayan states, the report said.