Compounding crises: On the impact of a summertime water crisis

Syllabus: GS- I, Subject: Geography, Topic: Resources, Issue: Water Resources

Context: Analysis of Central Water Commission data.

Key points:

  • South India’s reservoirs are only filled to 23% of their holding capacity.
  • The situation is worse than the 2017 summertime water crisis.

Factors responsible for water crisis:

  • El Niño events contributing to erratic monsoons.
  • General elections in India will result in increased outdoor activity and water demand
  • On-ground preparedness and implementation of policies remain inadequate.
  • Persistent issues- unplanned urban growth, groundwater over-extraction, low water reuse efficiency, lack of community involvement, and degradation of catchment areas.


  • Climate change exacerbates simultaneous crises, such as droughts and disease outbreaks.
  • Marginalized groups suffer most from compounded crises

The way ahead:

  • Water crises must be understood in this broader context of compounding effects.
  • Policymakers must recognize the multifaceted nature of future crises.
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