Man Dies, a Dozen Injured During Mumbai Water Shortage Protest
Photo by mckaysavage via Flickr CC. Mckasavage writes, "Bright multi-coloured water pots lined up to be filled at the street tap...As water is often not available through the lines all day, especially in the dry season, pots will be lined up waiting to be filled and carried home."
Mumbai has had serious difficulties regarding water supplies this year, going from drought, to a deluge during monsoon season, and now back to water shortages. In order to deal with the shortages - which are expected to worsen until the next rainy season - officials have made water cuts that sparked a violent protest during which one man died and dozens of others were injured, adding to India's growing record of violence over water and showing the beginning of what will likely be more social unrest over water supplies. Reuters reports that Mumbai is facing an estimated water shortfall of about 400 million litres of the 4,300 million litres needed daily to sustain the city's approximately 14 million residents. Mumbai is the world's second largest city, yet most of the residents only get water for a few hours during the day. This leaves them to have to buy water at drastically inflated rates from touts. So, it is no wonder that the additional 15% cuts in supplies sparked a protest that turned violent.
As residents protested outside the corporation building, they went up against riot police and it turned ugly. The man who died during the protest reportedly died of a heart attack, while about a dozen other residents suffered injuries because of the clash.
This is a news story we're bound to hear more and more often. Already we've seen violence in India over a lack of water , and according to a recent study, by 2050, per capita water availability in India is expected to drop by about 44% due to growing populations and higher demand, as well as higher pollution levels.
After experiencing an unusually intense monsoon earlier this year, climate change seems to be factoring in on top of a lack of sustianable water practices and infrastructure. By 2025, India, China and select countries in Europe and Africa will face water scarcity if adequate and sustainable water management initiatives are not implemented, and an estimated 3 Billion people will be living below the water stress threshold.
And with a scarcity of a resource we can only live for a few days without, water wars are a near certainty.
More on the Water Crisis
Water Crisis coverage on TreeHugger
Water Shortages Rising Across the Globe, But Especially India
What the Water Crisis Really Means for You and the Planet
Clean Tech Forum 2009: Experts Discuss the Impending Water Crisis (Video)