World Water Day: Water for Peace

Question : What are the main reasons for water scarcity in different regions of India, and how do they affect local communities?

Water Crisis in India

  • Shift from clean, abundant water to scarcity.
  • Water stress due to quantity and quality issues.
  • Factors: rapid urbanization, industrialization, unsustainable agriculture, climate change, pollution, poor management.
  • Impact: ecosystem damage, food insecurity, potential for conflict.

Water Availability

  • India already water stressed (below 1500 m3 per capita per year).
  • Projected to decrease further (1341 m3 by 2025, 1140 m3 by 2050).
  • Water use: 72% agriculture, 16% municipalities, 12% industries.
  • Depleting groundwater tables in most states and major cities (e.g., Bengaluru).
  • Alarming over-consumption in Punjab, Rajasthan, Delhi, Haryana.

Reasons for Water Scarcity

  • Drying springs in hilly areas.
  • Silting of reservoirs, water bodies, wetlands due to poor maintenance.
  • Unsustainable groundwater withdrawal exceeding recharge.
  • Water pollution from sewage and greywater.
  • Lack of proper surface and groundwater management.

The Importance of Water

  • Water is more than a basic human right, it’s crucial for peace and quality of life.
  • Sustainable agriculture, water security, and environmental health depend on water management.

Rainwater Harvesting as a Solution

  • Enhances water quantity and quality (blue and green water).
  • Builds resilience against water scarcity and drought.
  • Augments recharge and aids irrigation.
  • Rooftop rainwater harvesting and large-scale structures are essential.
  • Conjunctive use of surface and groundwater and wastewater reuse are crucial.

Government Initiatives

  • Focus on water conservation and rainwater harvesting.
  • Rejuvenation of water bodies, tanks, and wetlands.
  • Borewell recharge and development of recharge structures.
  • Watershed development and afforestation programs (e.g., Jal Shakti Abhiyan).


  • By implementing these solutions, India can achieve water security and contribute to a more peaceful world.



Nuclear Energy: Powering a Clean Future, but Funding Stalled

Nuclear – A Key Player in Climate Action

  • UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) recognizes nuclear’s role in decarbonization.
  • Nuclear Energy Summit promotes nuclear as part of the clean energy mix.
  • Lower carbon emissions than solar or wind.
  • Reliable, uninterrupted energy with a smaller land footprint than other renewables.
  • Lower operating costs and longer lifespan compared to other renewables.

The Financing Challenge

  • Technology advancements like Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) improve safety.
  • Destigmatization: Tech startups are entering the nuclear industry.
  • However, Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) and private investors haven’t significantly invested.

India’s Nuclear Power

  • Existing plants offer competitive electricity rates (e.g., Tarapur).
  • Low contribution (1.6%) to India’s renewable energy mix.
  • Limited adoption due to stigma, safety concerns, regulations, and high upfront costs.

A Path Forward for Nuclear Energy

  • Positive signs:
    • $26 billion sought in private investment for nuclear in India.
    • Plans to triple nuclear capacity by 2031-2032.
    • Prime Minister Modi’s support for nuclear development.

Challenges to Address

  • Secure financing to bridge the gap and make nuclear energy a viable option.
  • Address public concerns about safety, proliferation risks, and waste management.
  • Streamline regulations to expedite project timelines and reduce costs.


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