Drought in India: Can Businesses Play a Role in Collective Action for Water Security?
By intervening in meaningful ways to tackle India’s water crisis, businesses would not just mitigate operational and supply chain risk for themselves but have a wider, basin-level influence.
On 15 September, the southern Indian state of Karnataka made it official – a majority of the state was drought hit. Even as parts of the world face devastating floods, there is a very real threat of aquifers dipping and rivers running dry in India as El Niño tampers with the all-important southwest monsoon. This news comes close on the heels of the Indian Meteorological Department’s announcement that August 2023 was the driest and hottest on record.
These are worrying developments for the world’s most populous country in terms of drinking water shortages and impact on agriculture, a sector that sustains millions of people’s livelihoods.
Industries and businesses will also be affected. But they also play an important role in addressing the problem because, one, they have the money to invest in solutions that could achieve long-term impact and, two, because these carbon- and water-intensive sectors contribute to pollution and scarcity in specific watersheds and climate change on a planetary scale. It is critical that this sector gets involved and actively engages with other actors to solve the big environmental challenges we face.
Rashmi Kulranjan for Eco-Business
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