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Critical Indian water resources ministry meeting postponed


Critical Indian water resources ministry meeting postponed

Photo: Ministry of Jal Shakti

Originally scheduled for today, the second Apex Council meeting organised by India’s Ministry of Water Resources has been postponed after an attendee tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of the meeting.

The ministry was set to discuss a water-sharing dispute between the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana that stems from disagreements over water irrigation and diversion projects on their shared Krishna and Godavari rivers.

With climate change altering India’s monsoon seasons—they have recently seen shorter, more intense bursts of rain as opposed to steady showers—water insecurity has become a serious problem for India’s over 1.3 billion people. Estimates suggest that by 2050 the subcontinent will face alternating water shortages and flooding, resulting in significant levels of poverty and famine.

Though the impact of climate change in India is likely to create a wide-range of political and economic outcomes, environmental issues are likely to take a back seat to issues relating to COVID-19 in the short-term. Yet, in the medium- to long-term, these economic concerns are likely to be aggravated and translated into political disputes over resource sharing, as foreshadowed by the ongoing water dispute between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

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