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Rural, low-income areas suffer as megacity depletes water supplies: 'All that water from around us goes to the people in the big city'

"Nothing has changed for us."

"Nothing has changed for us."

Photo Credit: iStock

As rising global temperatures fuel extreme droughts, a disturbing scenario is playing out in India — the country's rural villages are running out of water as growing cities siphon away supplies.

What's happening?

In the shadow of Mumbai's glittering skyscrapers, villagers in the region that supplies much of the megacity's water are watching their wells run dry.

Demand for water is surging as India's population booms, but changing weather patterns are making rainfall less predictable and water supplies scarcer, according to Phys.org.

Why is this water shortage concerning?

In villages near Mumbai, groundwater levels are plummeting as the city diverts water for its 22 million residents.

"All that water from around us goes to the people in the big city and nothing has changed for us," said Sunita Pandurang Satgir, who spends up to six hours a day in scorching heat fetching often foul-smelling and sickening water.

Across India, freshwater availability could plunge by 40% by 2030 as aquifers are drained faster than they can refill, according to a government report relayed by Phys.org. 

What's being done about water shortages?

The Indian government has announced various schemes to tackle the crisis, like a plan to provide tap water to every household. But villagers say help hasn't reached them yet.

Nonprofits are working to spread water-saving practices, restore watersheds, and advocate for more equitable water policies.

By donating funds and spreading the word on social media, you can support organizations working on water solutions in India. But this crisis underscores why curbing atmospheric pollution everywhere is crucial.

Imagine if 40% less water flowed from your tap. By taking simple steps to shrink your carbon footprint — using less energy at home, eating more plant-based meals, flying and driving less — you can help protect life-sustaining water for communities worldwide. Every drop counts.

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