New Delhi : India can face a climate refugee crisis in the next seven years if water scarcity continues to persist in the country, renowned water conservationist Rajendra Singh said.
“Climate refugee” means increasing large-scale migration and cross-border mass movements of people partly caused by such weather-related disasters.
Speaking at the India Today Conclave 2021, water conservationist Singh, who is also known as the “Waterman of India” said the country cannot become ”paanidaar” (water self-sufficient) till a balance between discharge and recharge is maintained.
“And forming this balance between discharge and recharge of water is possible only through community driven decentralised management,” he said.
Singh said people are already moving from their villages to cities due to water scarcity.
“Europe is seeing climate refugees from many African countries. Fortunately, Indians are not called climatic refugees right now but in the next seven years if the water scarcity in India continues to persist then, Indians will also face a similar situation,” he warned.
He questioned what will India”s future be like if water banks are emptying because of excessive pumping of groundwater.
“Already, migration due to water scarcity is taking place and everywhere migration is going on from villages to cities and we should actually call it displacement of people. Now, the situation is such that there is such water scarcity that people are leaving villages and are not able to return.”