Recently according to UN water reports, it has been pointed out that dams in India have done more than more than good to the cause of water security. They have suggested natural solutions to handle the whole water crises, as per UN reports, “Large-scale water development projects have led to major impacts like human displacement, and achieved only limited food security one of the main objectives of such projects.”
The report further states, “The report lays emphasis on the importance of “nature-based solutions” to meet the crisis, and calls for ancestral and indigenous solutions. The World Commission on Dams country study on India concluded that a century or more of large-scale water development had resulted in major social and ecological impacts, including substantial human displacement, soil erosion, and widespread waterlogging while, contrary to stated objectives, achieving only limited food security benefits.”
With India being world’s largest extractor of groundwater, followed by the US, China, Iran, and Pakistan together accounting for 67 percent of total abstractions worldwide, the report stated that even the water-rich high flood-prone regions like Gangetic basins are facing groundwater depletion.
The report also states, “Even though large-scale groundwater recharge programmes have been operating in India for decades, the focus has been on water-scarce areas, with no real emphasis on flood risk management. Highly flood-prone basins such as the Ganges are now showing clear signs of groundwater depletion. Currently, an estimated 3.6 billion people (nearly half the global population) live in areas that are potentially water-scarce at least one month per year. This population could increase to some 4.8 to 5.7 billion by 2050.”
The report says, “The stakes are high, pointing out that with two-thirds of forests and wetland lost globally, soil is eroding and deteriorating in quality”.
As per report as well since the 1990s, water pollution has worsened in almost all rivers in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. “We also know that water scarcity can lead to civil unrest, mass migration, and even to conflicts within and between countries. These solutions can also contribute to other aspects of sustainable development, from ensuring food security and reducing disaster risk to building sustainable urban settlements and boosting decent work.”