Another major city is running out of water. This time instead of in Brazil or South Africa, it’s in India. Delhi is using water faster than it can replace it. At this rate, the city is estimated to run out of water in 2020. That’s not some far off date. That’s next year. The city is expected to reach “zero groundwater levels” from growth, drought refugees who’ve moved to the city, and infrastructure covering the original natural stormwater reclamation capacity.
“According to the Indian government’s 2016-2017 Ground Water Year Book, Delhi uses 390 million cubic meters of groundwater a year, about 25 percent higher than the natural recharge rate of 310 million cubic meters. “
The remaining natural flows from rivers and rain tend to be highly polluted, which can still be preferred for a region that’s experiencing drought. Climate change, urbanization, and overpopulation are combining to create crises in several places around the planet now, not just decades from now. While it may be technically possible to solve the problems, logistics and politics typically move at much slower paces. Hence, issues aren’t resolved until they reach crisis levels. That’s the case in India, evidently in other countries, and most likely around the world. In the meantime, refugees won’t wait for resolutions. They’ll pursue their own solutions, regardless of where that takes them.