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‘WWF identifies 100 cities, including 30 in India, facing ‘severe water risk’ by 2050’

  • Category
    Environment
  • Published
    10th Nov, 2020

A hundred cities worldwide, including 30 in India, face the risk of ‘severe water scarcity’ by 2050, according to a recent report by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

Context

Key-highlights of the Report

  • The cities would face a ‘grave water risk’ by 2050 due to a dramatic increase in their population percentageto 51 per cent by 2050, from 17 per cent in 2020, according to a press statement by WWF-India.
  • The cities include global hubs such as Beijing, Jakarta, Johannesburg, Istanbul, Hong Kong, Mecca and Rio de Janeiro.
  • Thirty Indian cities are also included in the list.
  • More than half of the identified cities are from China and India.             

30 Indian cities that will face a ‘grave water risk’ by 2050 according to WWF

1. Jaipur

11.Kolkata

21.Jalandhar

2.Indore

12.Ahmedabad

22.Pune

3.Thane

13.Jabalpur

23.Dhanbad

4.Vadodara

14.Mumbai

24.Bhopal

5.Srinagar

15.Lucknow

25.Gwalior

6.Rajkot

16.Hubli-Dharwad

26.Surat

7.Kota

17.Nagpur

27.Delhi

8.Nashik

18.Chandigarh

28.Aligarh

9.Visakhapatnam

19.Amritsar

29.Kozhikode

10.Bengaluru

20.Ludhiana

30.Kannur

What’s behind the situation?

  • Rapid urbanization: Rapid urbanisation and lack of basic infrastructure have already made cities in India water-stressed.
    • In June last year, one of India’s most populous cities, Chennai faced an acute water shortagewhen the cities four major reservoirs dried up after a delay in the onset of monsoons.
  • Environmental problems: The analysis also cited issues like deforestation, soil erosion, overgrazing, air pollution and water pollution that contributed to the country’s environmental problems.

What measures are required to be taken?

  • More investment in nature-based solutions: Cities needed to invest more in nature-based solutions and enhance the health of river basins, watersheds and wetlands to build resilience to water risks.
    • Nature-based solutions include restoring degraded watersheds, reconnecting rivers to their floodplains, and creating urban wetlands be implemented whilst improving infrastructure and reducing water consumption.
  • Public funding pool: To manage these initiatives, a public funding pool needed to be createdin collaboration with the private sector to invest, reduce risk and generate returns and fuel sustainable economic growth.
  • Collaborative global efforts: Cities also needed to support greater global efforts to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions to avoid reaching these scenarios.

WWF emphasises on India’s Smart Cities plan

  • The WWF analysis stressed on the importance of India’s Smart Cities initiative — about which the Government of Indiasays while there is a lack of a universally accepted definition of what a Smart City entails, it is a “wish list of infrastructure and services that describes” a city dweller’s “level of aspirations”.
  • Noting how the Smart Cities initiative provides a framework for water management, the WWF report noted how “urban watersheds and wetlands are critical for maintaining the water balance of a city, flood cushioning, micro-climate regulation and protecting its biodiversity”.
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