This Budget, Focus on Water Crisis

The moot challenge is less about the catalysts and more about engineering a structure for sustainable growth. Can India aspire for high growth without addressing the water crisis?

Three decades after the first water policy, the Niti Aayog, last June, bluntly stated that “India is suffering from the worst water crisis in its history–600 million people face high to extreme water stress. India is ranked 120th among 122 countries in water quality index.”

The water economy is in this rut primarily because of palliative policies and perennial incrementalism.By 2025, India will need water to produce over 350 tonnes of food to feed its people, and half of India will be urbanised. Patchwork policies have lived well past the sell by date and must be dumped.

In less than two decades after the drought crisis, Israel is exporting water. Singapore, faced by an existential threat, invested in systems and now recycles nearly 40 per cent of its water. So what is stopping India from adopting the best principles from across the world?

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