Over half of world's population, 1 billion in India, face severe water scarcity

Of those 4 billion people, 1 billion live in India and another 900 million live in China.

Updated: Feb 17, 2016, 13:59 PM IST
Over half of world's population, 1 billion in India, face severe water scarcity

New Delhi: The scarcity of water has become a major concern in many parts of the world, including India. But the situation is even worse than what we believed as now a new study revealed that some 4 billion people, nearly two-thirds of the world's population, face severe freshwater scarcity.

The study, published in the journal Science Advances, also found that some regions face the shortages worse than others.

It said that of those 4 billion people, 1 billion live in India and another 900 million live in China - which means every second person in the world facing severe water scarcity for at least a month a year is from India and China. And about 130 million live in the United States, mostly in western and southern states.

The study revealed that about 66% of the world’s population suffers from severe water scarcity for at least one month during the year.

It found that half a billion people in the world face severe water scarcity all year round.

“Putting caps to water consumption by river basins, increasing water-use efficiencies, and better sharing of the limited freshwater resources will be key in reducing the threat posed by water scarcity to biodiversity and human welfare”, the study noted.

Researchers also suggested that an important strategy to reduce the pressure on limited blue water resources will be finding a solution for the monthly water consumption fluctuations and raising productivity in rain-fed agriculture.

The study is authored by authored by Arjen Y Hoekstra, a professor of water management at the University of Twente in the Netherlands, and post-doctoral researcher Mesfin Mekonnen.