Residents await a municipal water tanker in Kolkata, India. March 22, 2017
India has only 4% of the global fresh water resources while it has to quench the thirst of about 18% of the world population. Of the total fresh water resources, 78% was being used for irrigation a decade ago. With hardly any effective regulation, the policy of cheap or free power supply for irrigation has led to a situation of near-anarchy in the use of groundwater. In places like Punjab, the water table is going down by a metre a year. Niti Aayog had declared recently that 21 major Indian cities could run out of groundwater by 2020, affecting access for 100 million people.