As various parts of India witness one of the worst droughts, an above par monsoon is an imperative

The current scenario in parts of the India are comparable to the drought of 2002, says Bharat Sharma, coordinator of the India programme at the International Water Management Institute. He adds that it is about time India improved the efficiency of water use. "We should decouple our economic growth from our water use."

When a law usually reserved for times of religious, caste or political violence is used at a time of water scarcity, you know how bad the problem is. In the past few weeks, Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure has been imposed in Latur and Parbhani, both in the drought-stricken Marathwada region of Maharashtra, to prevent the gathering of more than five people around water supply spots, thereby averting conflicts.

These developments come at a time when the initial forecasts for this year’s monsoon may provide some hope to millions starved of water. In 2014-15, India had a 12% deficit in rainfall, followed by a 14% shortfall in 2015-16, thanks to the El Nino weather phenomenon, which has parts of the Pacific Ocean warming up, leading to lower-than-average rainfall in countries like India and Australia.


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