Every Indian has only this much water left; water availability continues to fall decade after decade

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Updated: December 9, 2019 5:26:19 PM

Water availability per person in India is set to fall further to 1486 cubic meters in 2021.

water, water supply, water shortage, UN, UNESCO, water availability, water crisis, jobs, job creation, employment, economic growth, economyA study in Latin America reveals that investing USD 1 billion in expanding the water supply and sanitation network would directly result in 1 lakh jobs. (Bloomberg image)

The water availability per person in India has significantly reduced due to the expanding population in the country. The average per capita water availability in the year 2011 was recorded at 1545 cubic meters, falling from 1816 cubic meters a decade ago in the year 2001. If that’s not worrying enough, the water availability per person in India is set to fall further to 1486 cubic meters in 2021, according to Rattan Lal Kataria, MoS, Ministry of Jal Shakti & Social Justice and Empowerment. Water does not only cater to sanitation, cooking, drinking, and farming requirements, but it directly affects job creation and the economic growth of the country. Hence, the low availability of water can be dangerous for the holistic growth of India’s economy.

“From its extraction to its return to the environment, via numerous uses, water is a key factor in the creation of jobs,” says a UN report. The report also underlines a number of studies that find correlations between water-related investments and economic growth.

Also Read: Using water crisis as an opportunity

Survey of jobs and economic growth related to water

  • The United Nations World Water Development Report says that the investment in small-scale projects providing access to safe water and basic sanitation in Africa could offer an estimated economic return of about USD 28.4 billion a year, or nearly 5 per cent of the continent’s GDP, which also seem to have a beneficial effect on employment.
  • Also, in the United States, every USD 1 million invested in the country’s traditional water supply and water treatment generates between 10 and 20 additional jobs, and each job further creates 3.68 indirect jobs in the national economy. 
  • Another study in Latin America reveals that investing USD 1 billion in expanding the water supply and sanitation network would directly result in 1 lakh jobs.

Meanwhile, to balance the availability of water, the central government has made a National Perspective Plan (NPP) for Water Resources Development which envisages a transfer of water from water surplus basins to water-deficit basins.

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