United Nations World Water Development Report 2023

According to the United Nations World Water Development Report 2023, India is expected to be the most severely affected nation by water scarcity by 2050. This is a worrying trend, given that water scarcity is already a significant issue in India, with millions of people facing severe water shortages.

Asia: The Region Most Affected by Water Stress

The report highlights that approximately 80% of people living under water stress are in Asia, specifically northeast China, India, and Pakistan. The projected global urban population facing water scarcity is expected to increase from 933 million in 2016 to between 1.7-2.4 billion people by 2050, with India being projected to be the most severely affected.

Global Water Crisis: The Main Drivers

The report also highlighted that globally, two billion people do not have safe drinking water, and 3.6 billion lack access to safely managed sanitation. The increasing demand for water due to overconsumption and overdevelopment, unsustainable water use, pollution, and unchecked global warming are identified as the main drivers of this crisis.

Partnerships and Cooperation: Essential to Integrated Approaches to Water Management

Partnerships and cooperation are identified as essential to integrated approaches to water management, given that water is a cross-cutting issue. The report stresses the importance of addressing the water-energy-food nexus in a transboundary context. One example of such cooperation highlighted in the report is the transboundary water cooperation arrangement established by the Mahakali Treaty between India and Nepal.

The Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project: A Delayed but Beneficial Project

The report noted that although the Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project is long delayed, several beneficial impacts have been highlighted in terms of irrigation and flood control and lessening energy shortages. The project has the potential to address some of the water scarcity issues facing India and Nepal, provided that it is implemented in a sustainable and equitable manner.




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