Indian Express - Visual Data

Parched Earth : Is it a Water Crisis Yet?

Has India reached a water crisis situation?

Availability and Development of Ground Water

In the year 2000, India's water availability was 2000 cu m per person per year. By 2011, it dropped to 1545 cu m. An availability of 1000 cu m per person per year is considered as a scarcity condition by international agencies.


Rural drinking water supply is met from ground water sources

222.36 BCM

Groundwater utilized for irrigation (90.75% of 245 BCM available draft) and remaining 9.26% for industrial or domestic use


Total addition to the net irrigated area has come from ground water

Overall stage of groundwater development of the net groundwater availability marked at 58% (2004) and 62% (2011)

What is the extent of exploitation of water in the country?

% Level of Exploitation of Ground Water Resources across Various Assessment Units in India

Criteria for Categorization of Assessment Units

Type of Exploitation Stage of Ground Water Development
Over-Exploited Units >100%
Critical Units >90% and <=100%
Semi-Critical Units >70% and <=100%

India’s overall ground water development stands at 62% (2011) and is 8% short of being classified as a semi-critical unit from a safe unit.


out of 6607 units observed, were overexploited (2011)


out of 5842 units observed, were overexploited (2009)


out of 5723 units observed, were overexploited (2004)

What levels of groundwater development prevail across different states

Degree of ground water exploitation has overall increased, with 14.7% overexploited units in 2004 to 16.2% in 2011

Delhi (137%), Haryana (133%), Punjab (172%) and Rajasthan (137%) quoting overexploited levels of ground water development

Scare Water Availability Plagued Further by Contamination


contamination of water due to Iron, followed by 25.7% due to Salinity


habitations in India affected by contamination of water


Critically polluted areas across 12 states have been identiLied

Industrial discharge, landfills and sub-surface injections of chemicals and hazardous waste contributes to contamination.