A lot of human ingenuity, willpower and investment would be required to secure the future of water in India, which currently looks bleak and turbulent.
India’s dams can store only 200 cubic meters per person. India can store only about 30 days of rainfall, compared to 900 days in major river basins in arid areas of developed countries.
The need for storage will only grow because global climate change is going to have major impacts in India.
Not only there is likely to be rapid glacial melting in coming decades in the western Himalayas, there would be increased variability of rainfall in large parts of the subcontinent.
While industrialized countries harness over 80% of their economically-viable hydro-power potential, in India the figure is only 20%.
In the water-rich northeast of the country, water can be transformed from a curse to a blessing only if major investments are made in water infrastructure.