India would have a water deficit of 50 per cent by 2030: ADB

Many countries in Asia also facing worsening water crisis

GN Bureau / PTI | October 15, 2010




Asian countries, including India, are facing a worsening water crisis that threatens to curtail food production while taking an increasingly heavy toll on the region's economies, the Asian Development Bank said in its latest report.

Among the region’s largest countries, the ADB estimated 'India would have a water deficit of 50 per cent by 2030 while China would have a shortage of 25 per cent.'

“China, India, Pakistan, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Nepal, Uzbekistan and Cambodia are currently feeling the heaviest impacts of the water shortage in terms of food and energy production as well as ecological damage,” the ADB said.

In the report, the ADB faulted weak enforcement of laws for the degradation of Asian water quality, with between 80 and 89 per cent of all untreated wastewater leaching into fresh water in east and south Asia, respectively.

"In short, Asia is witnessing a despoliation of its freshwater resources with disastrous consequences for ecological balance and environmental sustainability," Manila based bank said.

It also highlighted that while irrigated agriculture uses up 80 per cent of the region's fresh water, there have been only very minimal irrigation efficiencies since 1990.

On current trends, this would lead to a 40 per cent gap between water demand and supply in Asia by 2030.

Read the report.

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