The report by NITI Aayog said nearly 70 per cent of water of the country is contaminated (File)
The report, titled ‘Composite Water Management Index’ released by Minister for Water Resources Nitin Gadkari, further said twenty-one major cities are expected to run out of groundwater as soon as 2020, affecting 100 million people.
The report cited data by independent agencies, pointing out that the country’s nearly 70 per cent of water is contaminated, which puts India at the 120th position among 122 countries in the water quality index.
NITI Aayog has ranked all states in the index on the composite water management, comprising 9 broad sectors with 28 different indicators covering various aspects of ground water, restoration of water bodies, irrigation, farm practices, drinking water, policy and governance.
Gujarat has emerged as the best in the country followed by Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra.
In northeastern and Himalayan states, Tripura has been adjudged as the top state in 2016-17 followed by Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Assam.
The low performers are, worryingly, comprised of the populous northern states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Haryana, and others, which are home to over 600 million people. The low performing states account for 20-30 per cent of India’s agricultural output.
The poor performance of these states on the Index highlights a significant water management risk for the country going forward, the report added.