Impact of climate change and anthropogenic pressure on the water resources of India: challenges in management
- Nansen Environmental Research Centre (India), Kochi-682016, Kerala, India
Abstract. Freshwater resources of India are getting fast degraded and depleted from the changing climate and pressure of fast rising population. Changing intensity and seasonality of rainfall affect quantity and quality of water. Most of the rivers are polluted far above safety limits from the untreated domestic, industrial and agricultural effluents. Changes in the intensity, frequency and tracks of storms salinate coastal aquifers. Aquifers are also under the threat from rising sea level. Groundwater in urban limits and industrial zones are far beyond safety limits. Large-scale destruction of wetlands for industries and residential complexes has affected the quality of surface and groundwater resources in most parts of India. Measures to maintain food security and the new developments schemes such as river linking will further deteriorate the water resources. Falling water availability leads to serious health issues and various socio-economic issues. India needs urgent and appropriate adaptation strategies in the water sector.