Fight against water scarcity: The role of technology in water resources planning and management
India has made huge investments in infrastructure development of large dams, storage structures and canal networks to meet the country’s water and agricultural needs. Work on linking rivers to ensure water flows into regions that receive less rainfall has also commenced. The government has also steadily increase allocation to developing water resources which has to a large extent help achieve food and water security. Yet, in several parts of the country with less surface water, increase in use of water in agriculture and a growing population has led to higher and potentially unsustainable extraction of ground water for irrigation and domestic needs. Research reveals this may lead to a 50% water gap in India by 2030. India is also facing the potent threat of climate change, which is impacting the pattern of availability of water resources including changes in pattern and intensity of rainfall and glacial melt resulting in altered river flows, changes in ground water recharge, more intense floods, severe droughts in many parts of the country, salt water intrusion in coastal aquifers, and a number of water quality issues. Water being vital for equitable growth and development of a country, food security, livelihoods, and public health are at stake.Building an extensive network of drinking water, wastewater, storm water and desalination infrastructure to provide the public with safe and clean water is very essential. Over the coming decades, this pattern of underinvestment needs to change and practices put in place to sustain the water services provided by water infrastructure and utilities. Doing so is vital to public, economic, and environmental health.