Drought Causes Water Crisis in India

April 28, 2000

A hot summer and lack of rain have caused a severe shortage in the East India state of Orissa. The draught, causing a lack of drinking water, is affecting approximately six million people. Officials reported temperatures hitting 115 degrees Fahrenheit (about two to three degrees warmer than usual), creating a shortage of approximately 220 million gallons of drinking water per day. One man has died of heatstroke already.

Orissa’s tanks, wells and rivers have dried up in some areas and many tubewells (9,000 of 180,000, with some estimates as high as 30,000 to 40,000) are useless due to low groundwater.

In addition, millions of people in the northern Indian states of Gujarat and Rajasthan are being forced to migrate due to the drought conditions.

The worst affected are the western districts of Orissa including Bolangir, Kalahandi and Koraput, where the water shortage has affected about six million people.

The government has asked for a 140 million-rupee grant from the federal administration for additional tubewells and water tankers.

(Source: Reuters)

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