India to experience critically low groundwater availability by 2025: Report
New Delhi : A recent United Nations report has warned that India is rapidly approaching a critical stage of groundwater depletion, expected to occur by 2025. The report further mentioned that certain crucial regions within the Indo-Gangetic basin in India have already surpassed this tipping point for groundwater depletion, and the entire northwestern area is projected to face severely limited groundwater resources by 2025.
The report, known as the "Interconnected Disaster Risks Report 2023," and issued by the United Nations University – Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), underlines that the global community is nearing six critical environmental tipping points. These include the acceleration of extinctions, the depletion of groundwater, the melting of mountain glaciers, the proliferation of space debris, the intensification of extreme heat, and a future that is difficult to insure against.
Defining Environmental Tipping Points
As per the United Nations, environmental tipping points represent crucial thresholds within the Earth's systems. Once these thresholds are crossed, abrupt and frequently irreversible alterations transpire, resulting in significant and occasionally disastrous transformations in ecosystems, climate behaviors, and the broader environment.
The Significance of Aquifers in Agriculture and Climate Change
Approximately 70 percent of groundwater extractions are dedicated to agricultural purposes, particularly in situations where above-ground water sources prove inadequate. Aquifers assume a vital role in alleviating agricultural losses attributed to drought, a challenge anticipated to intensify due to the impact of climate change.