India, home to 16 percent of the world’s population, has only 2.5 percent of the worlds land area and 4 percent of the world’s water resources at its disposal. Precipitation in the form of rain and snowfall provide over 4,000 trillion liters of fresh water to India1 . Most of this freshwater returns to the seas and ocean via the many large rivers flowing across the subcontinent. A portion of this water is absorbed by the soil and is stored in underground aquifers. A much smaller percentage is stored in inland water bodies both natural (lakes and ponds) and man-made (tanks and reservoirs). Of the 1,869 trillion liters of water reserves, only an estimated 1,122 trillion liters can be exploited due to topographic constraints and distribution effects2. The demand for water has been increasing at a high pace in the past few decades. The current consumption in the country is approximately 581 trillion liters with irrigation requirements accounting for a staggering 89 percent followed by domestic use at 7 percent and industrial use at 4 percent 3.

The per capita availability of water has significantly come down and is likely to come down further with the growing population and demand. As per the Ministry of Water Resources per capita water availability in 2025 and 2050 is estimated to come down by almost 36 percent and 60 percent respectively of the 2001 levels. Source: KPMG Analysis of data from Census of India, Ministry of Water Resources, Development Alternatives


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