• arjun vikraman

WWF: 30 Indian cities expected to face acute water risks

Updated: Nov 21, 2020

Arnav Mittal

7th November 2020

Globally, 350 million residents are households in 100 cities that will experience the largest spike in flood risk by 2050, which could increase to 51 percent, a recent WWF survey states, says The Mint

Cities from Chennai to Shimla have been faced with an acute crisis in the availability of water over the years (Source- Mint)

Cities might encounter significantly intensified 'water risks' from valves flowing dry to overflow unless instant action is taken to reduce and acknowledge the climate change, shows the survey.

According to the layouts in the WWF Water Risk Filter, 35 crore residents representing economies of national and global significance are living in 100 cities that are predicted to experience the largest increase in water risk by 2050. Nearly 30 cities in India, including Delhi, Jaipur, Indore, Amritsar, Pune, Srinagar, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Kozhikode, and Vishakhapatnam, are considered to be high-risk regions according to The Hindu. The layout also includes cities like Beijing, Johannesburg, Istanbul, Hong Kong and Rio de Janeiro.

Nearly half of these city areas are located in China, with hotspots in South Asia, the Middle East, South America, and Africa as well.

The Mint reported that cities across India have been facing extreme water inefficiency due to rapid urbanization, climate change, and a lack of appropriate facilities, putting a large amount of strain on existing infrastructure. From Chennai to Shimla, many populous areas have been facing an acute water scarcity crisis.

According to the Hindu, specific issues, like the lack of rainwater harvesting, which is one of the key elements for water conservation, contribute to this problem. Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed this in his radio show 'Mann Ki Baat'. He also mentioned the fact that only 8 per cent of rainwater is conserved in India.

"The future of India's environment lies in its cities. As India rapidly urbanizes, cities will be at the forefront of India's growth and sustainability. For cities to break away from the current vicious loop of flooding and water scarcity, nature-based solutions like restoration of urban watersheds and wetlands could offer solutions. This is our chance to re-evolve and re-imagine what the future of the cities could be", said Sejal Worah, programme director, WWF India to The Hindu.

According to the Hindu, The study said multi-stakeholder engagement and ownership of the local population would be crucial to the growth and preservation of safe water resources and the rejuvenation of urban freshwater systems. To ensure zero depletion of freshwater systems in urban environments, urban development, and wetland management need to be combined. The report further says that India's Smart cities' action plan could also support an integrated urban water management system. Also, private sector businesses and financial institutions will have a part to play in working in conjunction with city corporations.

The survey also added that while upgrading and improving the urban water systems and reducing water utilization would help mitigate water threats, it is also essential to find nature-based alternatives and solutions such as rehabilitating degraded watersheds, reconnecting rivers to their floodplains, and restoring or developing urban wetlands cited from the Mint.

(Source- Mint, the Hindu)

Edited by- Arjun Rohit Vikraman

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