Wednesday, Mar 22, 2023 23:30 [IST]

Last Update: Wednesday, Mar 22, 2023 17:51 [IST]

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Water is synonymous with life, yet 771 million people lack access to it. World Water Day is observed every year on March 22, to spread awareness about the global water crisis and ensure all people, especially those from remote, rural areas, have access to it. World Water Day promotes the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 6, which aims to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

Water scarcity is a pressing issue in India, which is home to around 1.3 billion people.  The country faces several water-related challenges, including water scarcity, pollution, and inadequate access to safe drinking water. India is one of the most water-deprived nations. According to a 2019 report by the NitiAyog, the country has 17 per cent of the world’s population but just 4 percent of freshwater resources. According to a report by, 6 percent of Indians ( 91 million people) lack access to safe drinking water, and 746 million people don’t have proper sanitation facilities.

Water is critical for sustainable development in India, including agriculture, industry, energy, and human health. India is one of the world's most water-stressed countries, with a limited supply of freshwater resources to meet the growing demands of the population. The country is also facing significant water pollution problems, with many of its rivers and lakes contaminated with industrial effluents, untreated sewage, and agricultural run-off.

Climate change is affecting the water cycle in India, leading to changes in precipitation patterns, melting of glaciers, and increased water scarcity in some areas. It is one of the primary causes of water scarcity in India. Rising temperatures and changing rainfall patterns have led to reduced water availability in many parts of the country. Mitigation strategies for this include the development of sustainable water management practices that conserve water resources and enhance their availability. Moreover, the rapid growth of the population in India has put a tremendous strain on the country's water resources. The increasing demand for water from the growing population has resulted in the depletion of groundwater reserves and the drying up of surface water sources. To mitigate this, India needs to focus on population control measures and promoting sustainable water use practices.

Inefficient use of water resources is another major cause of water scarcity in India. This includes practices such as wasteful irrigation techniques, inefficient water distribution systems, and the overuse of water in industries. Mitigation strategies for this include the adoption of efficient irrigation techniques, upgrading water infrastructure, and promoting water conservation practices in industries. Pollution of water sources is a significant problem in India, particularly in urban areas. The discharge of untreated industrial waste and sewage into water bodies has contaminated many of India's rivers and lakes. To mitigate this, India needs to implement effective waste treatment systems, promote cleaner production techniques, and increase public awareness about the importance of preserving water quality.

The lack of effective water governance and management systems is another factor contributing to water scarcity in India. India needs to develop better water governance systems that involve local communities and stakeholders in water resource management. Water scarcity is a complex issue in India that requires a multi-pronged approach to address. Strategies to mitigate the problem should focus on improving water governance, adopting sustainable water management practices, promoting efficient water use, and addressing the challenges posed by climate change and population growth. Water affects everyone, so we need everyone to take action.

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi