India's water future to 2025-2050: business as usual scenario and issues uri icon


  • This report projects India's water futures to 2025-2050. And it incorporates the recent changes of demographic patterns and economic environments into the water demand projections. The Business as Usual (BAU) scenario in this report projects the total water demand to increase by 22 and 32 percent by 2025 and 2050, respectively, from the present level of 680 billion cubic meters (BCM). The industrial and the domestic sectors account for 85 percent of the additional demand by 2050. Groundwater dominates irrigation growth of the BAU scenario. This, combined with higher irrigation efficiencies, decreases the irrigation water demand over the 2025-2050 period. The food grain demand under the BAU scenario is projected to decrease. However, the nutritional intake will increase with more non-grain products in the diet, with non-grain products providing 54 percent of the daily calorie supply by 2050. Although the value of grain crop production shows a surplus, the BAU scenario projects substantial imports of maize and pulses and exports of rice and wheat. The BAU scenario envisaged substantial investments for increasing groundwater recharge, spreading water saving technologies, and crop productivity growth. And failing so could require substantial surface water resources, perhaps transfers between basins, especially for meeting the rapidly increasing water demand of industrial and domestic sectors

publication date

  • 2007