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India Needs More Than Its Budget to Stop Million Deaths From Polluted Water

© REUTERS / Danish SiddiquiResidents cross a polluted water canal at a slum on the World Environment Day in Mumbai, India, June 5, 2017
Residents cross a polluted water canal at a slum on the World Environment Day in Mumbai, India, June 5, 2017 - Sputnik International
India witnessed a million deaths due to waterborne diseases and is unlikely to weed out shortage of water in the next decade as the government needs to invest about $291 billion by 2030, which is higher than New Delhi’s annual budget.

An Indian security personnel poses for media as he walks over rooftops covered in solar panels at the Solar Photovoltaic Power Plant, some 45kms from Amritsar. (File) - Sputnik International
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New Delhi (Sputnik) –  It is expected that the gap between demand for water and its supply would reach as high as about 50 % by 2030. India may face a gap of 754 billion cubic meters in demand-supply of water by 2030; approximately 50 billion cubic meters in the domestic sector.

“Amid sources that can be used to bridge water demand-supply gap, augmented and sustainable surface water sources would require funds to the tune of $215 billion followed by groundwater $45 billion,” Assocham-PwC joint study titled ‘Water Management in India: Channelling the resources’ noted.

The report said wastewater treatment and reuse together with desalination would require funding of $27 billion and $4 billion respectively.

In the next one decade or so, industrial use of water will witness a substantial jump as the power, paper, steel, aluminium, cement and fertilizer industries alone would pump out five times more water than they would actually consume now.

“Stepping up of existing service provisioning including infrastructural up-gradation will be necessary to meet the qualitative and quantitative aspects of the demand. This would need additional sources of investments including technological innovations,” Ranen Banerjee, Partner and Leader — Public Sector and Governance, PwC India said.

According to World Bank and non-profit government organization Water Aid, around 37.7 million Indians are affected by waterborne diseases annually; 1.5 million children are estimated to die of diarrhoea alone and 73 million working days are lost due to waterborne diseases each year.

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