India has 18% of the world’s population, 1.15 billion people, but access to only 4% of world’s fresh water resources. Climate change causing a frequent failure of monsoons coupled with limited surface water resources has led to an increased dependence on groundwater. Today, 70% of India’s irrigation needs and 80% of its domestic water supplies come from groundwater. This practice has led to rapidly declining groundwater tables in most states in India and is no longer sustainable.
Urbanization and increasing population has led to an encroachment of urban areas onto wetlands, swamps and floodplains of rivers. Many people living in these areas have neither general access to traditional potable water supply systems nor adequate sanitation facilities.
Climate change and the pressure on water resources is globally recognised as one of the most pressing issues and an important subject of collaboration between Europe and India.