Editorial

Water war scenario

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 3/28/2021 1:13:20 PM IST

 Water is become more scarce around the world and this has become serious even though the world continues to ignore the potential danger. Water scarcity is the lack of fresh water resources to meet the standard water demand. It is estimated that about two-third of the world’s population may suffer from fresh water shortage by 2025. The main causes of water scarcity in are physical and economic scarcity, rapid population growth, and climate change. Although Sub-Saharan Africa has a plentiful supply of rainwater, it is seasonal and unevenly distributed, leading to frequent floods and droughts. Given the current water availability situation and future projections, the UN has confirmed that there are some 300 areas across the world where a conflict over water is foreseen by 2025. Overexploitation of groundwater and intensive irrigation in major canal commands has posed serious problems for groundwater managers in India. Depletion of water tables, saltwater encroachment, drying of aquifers, groundwater pollution, water logging and salinity, etc. are major consequences of overexploitation and intensive irrigation. India’s north-western region is widely considered to be the country’s granary, with states such as Punjab and Haryana accounting for a large share of the country’s agricultural output and farm incomes. However, farming in both these regions is increasingly becoming unsustainable, owing to depleting groundwater levels. The situation is equally precarious in the south-eastern parts of the country. Both these regions account for most of India’s groundwater-stressed blocks. Assam and some parts of eastern India seem to be losing the usable groundwater storage at the highest rate, within the study period, as per the study. Many of these states are now intermittently getting affected by the “groundwater drought” in recent summers. The study suggests that these summer groundwater droughts would intensify in future, to become severe to very severe by 2050, with the possibility of spreading over all seasons. The rapid depletion in usable groundwater storage would accelerate the decline in food production and the availability of drinking water, two of the prime goals of achieving UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030. Parts of the Indus-Ganga-Brahmaputra basin mostly show reducing groundwater levels, whereas parts of western and southern India show increasing trends. More than four metre groundwater decline have been observed during the last decade in the Indian states of Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and West Bengal. A report from the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) paints a disturbing picture of a nearby future where people are fighting over access to water. These post-apocalyptic-sounding “water wars” could rise as a result of climate change and population growth and could become real soon enough if we don’t take steps to prevent them. This can lead to regional instability and social unrest. In 2025, water shortages will be more prevalent among poorer countries where resources are limited and population growth is rapid, such as the Middle East, Africa, and parts of Asia. By 2025, large urban and peri-urban areas will require new infrastructure to provide safe water and adequate sanitation. This could lead to growing conflicts with agricultural water users, who currently consume the majority of the water used by humans.

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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