The shape of things to come

India is suffering from the worst water crisis in its history, with 600 million people (of a population of 1.3 billion) facing severe shortages, and 21 cities, including New Delhi, likely to run out of groundwater by 2020, according to a government think tank.

The study found that about 200,000 people already die in India every year owing to a lack of access to clean water, and warned that the crisis will get worse in the coming years as the climate gets hotter and drier. By 2030, it estimates that 40% of the population will have no access to clean drinking water. The report also warns that the states that are worst at managing their water resources – including Uttar Pradesh and Haryana – are home to half the country’s population and the bulk of its agricultural production. (The Week, June 23, 2018)

It isn’t hard to guess the outcome: increased violence, breakdown of whole communities and mass migration to places more livable. We know this – it doesn’t take an old testament prophet. But, like deer in the headlights, we just hope it goes away or we conveniently deny the causes.

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