Eminent scientist K Kasturirangan said agriculture's share in India's total water usage needs to be brought down from (the current) 80-85% to below 50%, and efforts made to preserve and manage even a single drop.
In a report, the Niti Aayog stated that India is suffering from 'the worst water crisis' in its history with about 60cr people facing extreme water stress.
About 2L people die every year due to contaminated water.
"By 2030, the country's water demand is projected to be twice the available supply, implying severe water scarcity for hundreds of millions of people and an eventual 6% loss in GDP," report noted.
With 70% of water being contaminated, India is placed at 120th amongst 122 countries in water quality index, the report said.
Kasturirangan, a former Chairman of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), said there are countries where agriculture accounts for about 40-50% of the total water usage.
"We need to make sure water bodies in India are rejuvenated properly," Kasturirangan said, while calling for halt to 'indiscriminate exploitation' of ground water.
Quoting American satellites, he said there is huge depletion of ground water in Northern India.
Kasturirangan said, "We have to work with concept that it's a scary situation, otherwise you will never be serious."
"We have to develop a culture to save every drop of water. We have been very profligate in water use because monsoon has been generous... This isn't going to happen in years to come," he cautioned.
Karnataka is forming a policy on water-management, Kasturirangan added.
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