With 91 of India’s major water reservoirs registering lower-than-normal at about 29 percent capacity, the world’s second most-populated nation is facing its worst water scarcity in a decade. Making the challenge even more critical is that 66,093 rural Indian villages only have access to contaminated water.
In West Bengal state, the declining water levels of the Ganges River forced the shutdown of a powerplant for ten days in Farakka, the first time in its history. Coal barges bottomed out in the receding waters while trying to reach the power plant. The shortage is also creating conflicts among elected leaders concerning water availability and distribution to their residents. In addition, India and Bangladesh share a water source that is a perennial point of conflict.
India’s growing agriculture and manufacturing sectors have guzzled much of the available water. Other factors include weaker monsoons in recent years and a delay in the melting of Himalayan snow, which typically provides 15 percent of India’s river flows. Now, India awaits its next monsoon season, which lasts from June to September.
Gospel for Asia (GFA) offers one solution for the water shortage with its Jesus Wells, which produce steady drinking water for villages of up to 1,500 people typically from deep well sources.
“It’s an honor to have a Jesus Well in the village,” says one village leader. “We appreciate the Christian community. People were drinking dirty and bitter water, but now all are happy and are getting good water from the Jesus Well.”
Pray for India’s water crisis to end swiftly and that clean, safe water supplies would be provided.