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Climate Change, Water Resources and Food Production: Some Highlights from India's Standpoint

Author Affiliations

  • 1Department of Environmental Studies, Institute of Science, Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan, Birbhum, West Bengal, INDIA

Int. Res. J. Environment Sci., Volume 2, Issue (1), Pages 79-87, January,22 (2013)

Abstract

India accounts for about 17.5 % of the world’s population and roughly 4% of the total available fresh water resources. Ground water resources provide for more than 60% of the irrigated land which has already depleted to large extent in many pockets of the country. Except a few perennial rivers most of the rivers are seasonal and rainfed. With increasing population and growing demand from industrial and agricultural sectors the water consumption is set to jump up tremendously in the near future. India is expected to become water stressed country by the years 2020-2025 with per capita water availability falling to 1341 m/person/year by 2025. Climate change can severely threat India’s water security. India’s hydro-climatic regime is expected to alter significantly over the course of the 21st century. Impacts of climate change on water resources are sure to have consequences on the food security of India, as food security cannot be expected without a foolproof water security. Studies conducted by individual authors and other national and international organizations forecast a change in the climate of India and alteration in the hydrological regime. Some changes in climate have already started to appear affecting the water resources of the country. A parallel association also exists between change in water regime and food security. Observing these outcomes in the present context, in this paper (i) the water resources of India (ii) the possible impacts of climate change on its water resources and (iii) likely influence of change in water regime on the food security; have been highlighted. Furthermore, some of the initiatives taken under the National Action Plan on Climate Change by the Government of India to counter the climate change impacts on water resources and food production have also been dealt with.

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