Sample Answer for UPSC CSE IAS GS Paper 3 on Water Crisis in India (Most Important) with Sample Answer for 2022 Exam

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Q. Comment on the situation & extent of water crisis in India. Substantiate your answer with examples from world. (Management, Privatization)

Present Scenario – Eye Openers!

Global - Due to the rapid growth of population, the per capita availability of fresh water has declined sharply from 3,000 cubic metres to 1,123 cubic metres over the past 50 years. (Global average is 6000 cm)

Beijing (China) , Mexico City (Mexico) , Nairobi (Kenya) , Karachi (Pakistan) , Kabul (Afghanistan) and Istanbul (Turkey)


2016: India is worst country in number of people without safe drinking water

600 million Indians face high to extreme water stress and 2 lakh people die every year due to inadequate access to safe water

52 % agriculture is rainfed – so expansion of irrigation needs required

330 million people affected by drought – Marathwada, Latur, Water Trains in Maharashtra

10 states had declared drought last year and with depleting water levels in reservoir it՚s getting worse.

In 91 major reservoirs of the country water level is just 25 % of the capacity – waiting for monsoon

South – Krishna worst affected; deficiency in Cauvery & Godavari

Power generation coming to a halt at the National Thermal Power Corporation՚s station in West Bengal՚s Farakka

6 % dip in share of groundwater wells within 10 metres below the ground

Case Study – Bengaluru

Number of water bodies in Bengaluru has reduced by 79 per cent due to unplanned urbanisation and encroachment

Water table in Bengaluru has shrunk from 10 - 12 m to 76 - 91 m in just two decades while the number of extraction wells has gone up from 5,000 to 0.45 million in 30 years.

Future Has for Us – GLOOMY!


South Africa – Zero Day


ADB – By 2030 India will have a water crisis of 50 %

NITI Aayog՚s composite water management index

  • Jharkhand is worst performer followed by Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar
  • Demand will be twice the supply by 2030
  • Worst affected in NE & Himalayas – Tripura

80 % waste water released without prior treatment

Why the Crisis?


  • Underground drinking water
  • Domestic use
  • Industrial use
  • Water intensive crops
  • Damming of rivers
  • Demand – supply gap
  • Poor infrastructure, storage & planning
  • Water pricing – Only for privileged class? ?


  • Inadequate monsoon


  • Investment in R&D – desalinization plants in India (similar to UAE)
  • Cooperative groundwater management – watershed management (Refer -
    Watch Video Lecture on YouTube: YouTube Examrace Channel


  • Weather Forecasting Models – (Refer
    Watch Video Lecture on YouTube: YouTube Examrace Channel

    ) – Mihir & Pratyush

  • Rainwater Harvesting (Refer -
    Watch Video Lecture on YouTube: YouTube Examrace Channel


  • Goal 6 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes importance of sustainable management of water and sanitation. UN World Water Development Report 2018 proposed Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) - restoring forests, grasslands and natural wetlands, reconnecting rivers to floodplains, creating buffers of vegetation along water courses
  • NBS - circular economy – restorative and regenerative design for more productivity; Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD +)


  • First National Water Policy was adopted in September, 1987. It was reviewed and updated in 2002 and later in 2012.
  • National River Linking Project to address the issue of uneven distribution water
  • Atal Bhujal Yojana (ABY) to tackle ever-deepening crisis of depleting groundwater
  • National Rural Drinking Water Program (NRDWP) to provide every person in rural India with adequate safe water for drinking & cooking
  • National Groundwater Recharge Master Plan


Is privatization a solution (as proposed by WTO & IMF) ? Can we commoditize the basis of survival?


  • Reduce waste
  • Focus on quality
  • Reduce government expense
  • Value for water


  • Widen disparity
  • Hamper Poor – Ultimately economy to suffer – epidemic
  • Remote areas will be untouched