Home to 4.5 billion people, the Asian population uses around 65 per cent of the world’s water supply. Agriculture accounts for the largest use of water, followed by industrial and municipal uses.
India is the 13th most water-stressed country in the world, but is home to more than three times the population of the other 16 worst-affected countries combined.
Despite having more glaciers than anywhere else in the world, Pakistan ranks right after India as the 14th most water stressed country, also facing extremely high water stress. (ECO-Business, What’s being done to fix water scarcity in Asia’s most water-stressed countries?, By Sonia Sambhi , March 22, 2020)
South Asian Nations Are Connected by Rivers: Cooperation in managing water resources is needed to avoid future conflict.
“South Asia has a water crisis,” said Pervaiz Amir, a regional expert for the Stockholm-based Global Water Partnership, pointing to the cities of Karachi, Pakistan’s capital, and India’s capital, New Delhi. “You immediately start a ripple effect, first it is poverty that will increase. In the southern areas of Pakistan, extremism and terrorism will increase.”(Bloomberg, South Asia’s Arch-Rivals, By Faseeh Mangi, Chris Kay, and Archana Chaudhary, January 25, 2019)
“The World Bank estimates 21% of communicable diseases in India are water related. Of these diseases, diarrhea alone killed over 700,000 Indians in 1999 (estimated) – over 1,600 deaths each day. The highest mortality from diarrhea is in children under the age of five, highlighting an urgent need for focused interventions to prevent diarrheal disease in this age group.” (World Health Organization, Combating diarrheal disease in India through safe drinking water. November, 2002.)
“Forty five percent of India’s children are stunted and 600,000 children under five die each year, largely because of inadequate water supply and poor sanitation,” reads a report by UNICEF and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)…. It is estimated that around 37.7 million Indians are affected by water-borne diseases annually, 1.5 million children are estimated to die of diarrhea alone, and 73 million working days are lost due to water-borne diseases each year.” (Down to Earth, Unsafe water stunting growth of Indian children: report, February 18, 2013)