The country that pumps more groundwater than any other has reached a water supply and food safety reckoning that threatens to upend political and economic stability, and long-term public health.
In this special report, building on years of on-the-ground coverage, Circle of Blue reveals how a nation of 1.3 billion people, by failing to protect its water, is courting disease and economic hardship as well as social upheaval.
Hand in hand with the groundwater depletion and contamination, is a food supply “toxic time bomb” of global implications. When irrigation wells go dry, farmers turn to untreated wastewater that is laced with industrial chemicals and human sewage.
As one villager said, “The water moved from providing life to taking lives.”
Delhi is running short — maybe even out — of groundwater.
A harrowing report in June warned that Delhi, along with 20 other Indian cities, could reach “zero groundwater levels” by 2020. Read More
Dirty aquifers and water scarcity are destabilizing the world’s second-largest country and seventh-largest economy. As its water reserves get dirtier and smaller, India is losing the capacity to safeguard public health, ensure farm productivity, grow the economy, and secure social stability. Read More
After two consecutive years of weak monsoons, 330 million people in India, a quarter of the country’s population, are affected by a severe drought. More than 60 percent of agricultural land in India is not irrigated, so the failed rains are particularly devastating for farmers. The drought has destroyed crops and dried up wells already stressed by overuse, forcing rural families to move to cities. Read More