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Taps may dry up in India: Study

IANS  |  London 

A new has revealed that along with Spain, and faces the risk of shrinking reservoirs that can lead to going dry.

It has highlighted poor rains in 2017 to show the shrinking of the in and the in that supplies drinking water to millions.

Shrinking reservoirs could spark the next "day zero" water crisis, according to the developers of a for the world's 500,000 dams, the Gaurdian reported on Thursday.

grabbed headlines on "day zero". It launched a countdown to the day when would be cut off to millions of residents as a result of a three-year drought. Drastic conservation measures have forestalled that moment in

However, dozens of other countries face similar risks from rising demand, mismanagement and climate change, said the Resources Institute (WRI).

The US-based environmental organisation is working with Deltares, the and other partners to build a water and security early warning system that aims to anticipate social instability, economic damage and cross-border migration.

A prototype is due to be rolled out later in 2018, but a snapshot was unveiled on Wednesday that highlighted four of the worst-affected dams and the potential knock-on risks.

Tensions have been apparent in over the water allocations for two reservoirs connected by the Poor rains last year left the upstream a third below its seasonal average.

When some of this shortfall was passed on to the downstream reservoir, it caused an uproar because the latter is a drinking supply for 30 million people. Last month, the government halted irrigation and appealed to farmers not to sow crops.

has suffered a severe drought that has contributed to a 60 per cent shrinking of the surface area of the over the last five years, report said.

All the dams are in the mid-latitudes, the geographic bands on either side of the tropics where climate change is expected to make droughts more frequent and protracted. As more reservoirs are scanned, the WRI expects more cases to emerge.

"These four could be a harbinger of things to come," said Charles Iceland of the WRI. "There are lots of potential Cape Towns in the making. Things will only get worse globally, as water demands increase and the effects of climate change begin to be felt."

Gennadii Donchyts, for Deltares, said the reservoir-monitoring service will steadily grow in size as information is added from Nasa and satellites that provide resolutions of between 10 and 30 metres on a daily basis.

The petabytes of data are analysed using Earth Engine and algorithms to compensate for periods where parts of the surface area are covered by cloud, report said.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, April 12 2018. 18:16 IST