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The United Indian

Dry Spell Alert: Top 5 Cities Facing Water Crisis In India

water crisis in India

The Fight For Basic Needs

Apr 17, 2024

We all recently witnessed the hullabaloo behind water crisis in Bengaluru. This made us think that why did it happen and what all other cities could probably be the next targets!


Amid the noise of daily existence, in the busy streets of India's urban jungles, the dread of an impending water catastrophe looms enormous and silent. Numerous cities are facing the difficult problem of water scarcity in India, from the southern tip to the northern plains. Previously thought to be an issue limited to desert areas, the catastrophe has now spread to India's metropolises' concrete jungles, threatening millions of people's lives. These cities are on the verge of collapse due to a perfect storm created by rapid urbanization, inadequate water management techniques, and the threat of climate change.


Come along as we examine the top five cities that are now experiencing or will soon face a water crisis in India, analyzing the complex issues at hand and considering possible remedies to prevent catastrophe.


  1. Chennai: Once dubbed the "Detroit of India" for its thriving automobile industry, Chennai is now making headlines for a different reason - its water crisis. In 2019, the city ran dry, leaving millions parched. Depleted groundwater levels, unchecked urbanization, and inadequate rainfall are exacerbating the situation. The city heavily relies on the monsoon season to replenish its water sources, but erratic rainfall patterns due to climate change are disrupting this cycle. The need for sustainable water management practices and conservation efforts has never been more urgent in Chennai.


  1. Delhi: India’s capital is facing a multifaceted water crisis. Rapid population growth, coupled with depleting groundwater levels and mismanagement of water resources, has pushed Delhi towards a dire situation. The Yamuna River, once a lifeline for the city, is now heavily polluted, rendering its water unfit for consumption. Illegal groundwater extraction further strains the already stressed aquifers. The government's efforts to revive the Yamuna and implement water conservation measures are commendable, but much more needs to be done to avert a full-blown water crisis in India.


water crisis in India


  1. Bangalore: Silicon Valley of India, Bangalore, is grappling with its own water woes. The city’s lakes, which once served as vital water reservoirs, are now frothing with toxic foam due to rampant pollution. Unplanned urbanization and unchecked construction have led to the encroachment and degradation of water bodies. Bangalore's dependence on the Cauvery River for water exacerbates the situation, especially during dry spells. Sustainable water management practices, coupled with stringent pollution control measures, are imperative to secure Bangalore’s water future.


  1. Mumbai: The bustling financial capital of India, Mumbai, is not immune to the plaguing water crisis in India. Despite abundant rainfall during the monsoon season, the city faces water scarcity issues due to inadequate storage and distribution infrastructure. Leakage and pilferage further compound the problem, leading to significant water wastage. Rapid urbanization and population growth are putting immense pressure on the city's water resources, making sustainable water management practices a pressing necessity for Mumbai’s survival.


  1. Hyderabad: Known for its rich history and burgeoning IT industry, Hyderabad is facing a looming water crisis of its own. The city relies heavily on the Krishna and Godavari rivers for its water supply, but pollution and over-extraction have taken a toll on these sources. Rapid urbanization has led to the depletion of groundwater levels, exacerbating the water scarcity situation. The government’s initiatives to harness rainwater through harvesting techniques are steps in the right direction, but concerted efforts are needed to address the root causes of Hyderabad’s water woes.

water crisis in India


What Are The Causes Of Water Scarcity In India?

  • Climate Change: Among the leading Causes Of Water Scarcity In India is the changes in the weather, like unpredictable rains and hotter temperatures. The changes are messing up with the usual water cycle. Less rain means less water, and more heat makes water disappear faster.


  • Urbanization: Cities are getting bigger and bigger, with more people needing water. But the systems to provide water aren't growing fast enough to keep up.


  • Water Wastage: There's a lot of water that just gets wasted. Pipes that leak, systems that aren't good at giving water where it's needed, and people not being careful with how much water they use all add up to a big problem.


  • Pollution: Factories and farms are putting stuff into the water that makes it dirty and not safe to use. This pollution makes the water unusable for drinking or even washing.


The Looming Consequences Of Water Crisis In India

There is no doubt that the water crisis in India can have devastating consequences. Here are a few:


  • Public health issues: When there's not enough clean water to drink, people can get sick from dirty water. Diseases like diarrhoea, cholera, and typhoid spread easily, making a lot of people very ill.


water crisis in India


  • Economic impact: Not having enough water can mess up businesses and farms. Industries might have to stop making things if they don't have water to use, and farmers might not be able to grow crops. This can slow down the economy and make it harder for people to find work.


  • Social unrest: When there's not enough water to go around, people might start fighting over what's left. This can cause big problems in communities, leading to arguments and even violence as everyone tries to get the water they need.


A call to action

Though we understand that the water crisis in India is not inevitable, but its here's what we can do to control it:

  • Invest in water conservation infrastructure: We need to upgrade our water systems to stop leaks and make sure water reaches everyone who needs it. Also, we can collect rainwater when it does rain, so we have more water to use when it's dry.


  • Promote water-efficient practices: People need to learn how to use water wisely, whether it's at home, at work, or on the farm. Simple things like fixing leaks, using less water when washing, and watering plants carefully can make a big difference.


  • Adopt sustainable water management policies: We should make plans that think about the future. This means considering how climate change will affect water and how many people will need it. By planning ahead, we can make sure there's enough water for everyone, even as things change.


water crisis in India


Beyond the Top 5

It's important to remember that water crisis in India is a nationwide issue.  The five cities mentioned above are just a few of the most vulnerable.  Many other cities are facing similar challenges.


What you can do to help?

There are many things individuals can do to conserve water:

  • Fix leaky faucets and toilets.
  • Take shorter showers.
  • Water your lawn less frequently.
  • Use water-efficient appliances.
  • Spread awareness about water conservation in your community.


By taking these small steps, we can all contribute to a more water-secure future for India.



The impending water crisis in India, especially in these cities highlights the pressing need for conservation initiatives, sustainable water management strategies, and legislative changes. To prevent a disaster, it is essential that communities, urban planners, and governments work together to develop comprehensive solutions. Prioritizing essential tactics such as rainwater collecting, revitalizing water bodies, optimizing water resource utilization, and strictly enforcing water conservation measures are imperative. The moment to act is now, since the clock is ticking. Let us work to ensure that every Indian city has abundant access to safe and clean water in the future.



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