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NASA Satellite Observations Its Report On Freshwater And India



  • G.S. Paper 1, 3

Why in news?

  • NASA satellite observations of Earth have found that there is a serious decline in the availability of freshwater in India.

What does the observation say?

  • NASA used data on human activities to map locations where freshwater is changing around the globe.
  • This is the first time that observations from multiple satellites in a thorough assessment of how freshwater availability is changing everywhere on Earth.
  • In some regions water supplies were found to be relatively stable, others experienced increases or decreases.
  • The study found that Earth’s wet land areas are getting wetter and dry areas are getting drier due to a variety of factors.

Why such decline of Freshwater?

  • The factors for this phenomenon comprise human water management, climate change and natural cycles.
  • Distinctive pattern of the wet land areas of the world getting wetter those are the high latitudes and the tropics and the dry areas in between getting dryer.
  • Pumping groundwater for agricultural uses is a significant contributor to freshwater depletion throughout the world.
  • Groundwater levels are also sensitive to cycles of persistent drought or rainy conditions.

What does the study say about India?

  • Areas in northern and eastern India are among the hotspots where overuse of water resources has caused a serious decline in the availability of freshwater that is already causing problems.
  • In northern India, groundwater extraction for irrigation of crops such as wheat and rice have caused a rapid decline in available water, despite rainfall being normal throughout the period studied.
  • The extractions in these parts have already exceeded recharge during normal precipitation and do not bode well for the availability of groundwater during future droughts.

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