India facing its worst water shortage in history, report says

Indian women fetch water from a pit in the bed of Lokpal Sagar Lake in Madhya Pradesh.

Story highlights

  • Six hundred million people are dealing with high to extreme water shortage
  • "We have 4% of the global water and 16% of the global population," an expert notes

(CNN)India is facing its worst water shortage in history. Six hundred million people are dealing with high to extreme water shortage, according to a report by Niti Aayog, a policy think tank for the Indian government.

The report states that an average of 200,000 Indian lives are lost every year due to inadequate supply or contamination of water.
Sustainable water development has seen slow progress in India in recent years. Though 80% of the country's states have water conservation legislation, bad data management and nonexistent pricing of water have kept the country from making significant change, the report states.
    Poor irrigation techniques and severe contamination of groundwater have brought India to the edge of this crisis.
    India is predominantly an agricultural country, with 80% of its water used for irrigation, the report says. The irrigation practices followed by farmers are inefficient at best.
    Cape Town rejoices as rain falls on drought-stricken city