Impending water crisis in India

Via FP Passport, India is worried it will run out of water, and rightly so:
Parts of India are on track for severe water shortages, according to results from NASA's gravity satellites.

The Grace mission discovered that in the country's north-west - including Delhi - the water table is falling by about 4cm (1.6 inches) per year.

Writing in the journal Nature, they say rainfall has not changed, and water use is too high, mainly for farming.
It's not news that profligate pumping is major threat to India’s water security, and India's energy subsidies for farmers are a classic example of a populist but terribly environmentally destructive policy. And despite recent droughts in some parts of the country, the NASA data confirms this view:
Weather and climatic factors are not responsible for water depletion in the northwestern states of Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab, according to the NASA study.

"We looked at the rainfall record and during this decade, it's relatively steady - there have been some up and down years but generally there's no drought situation, there's no major trend in rainfall," said Matt Rodell, a hydrologist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center near Washington DC.

"So naturally we would expect the groundwater level to stay where it is unless there is an excessive stress due to people pumping too much water, which is what we believe is happening."
Democracy is a great form of government in many ways, but its vulnerability to populist policies and obstructionist minorities mean its ability to control environmental degradation is often weak. Although the environmental record of China, which doesn't think much of democracy, is not exactly stellar.

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