India has a tempestuous relationship with water. The seasonal monsoon winds drive dramatic changes to the country’s weather systems, blowing in wet weather from the south-west, or dry from the north-east. The rainfall brought by these weather systems does not fall uniformly across the country, with some areas suffering intense droughts, while others experience severe floods. The dualism of overabundance and scarcity of water presents huge challenges for the country’s growing urban population, whose health, homes and livelihoods are increasingly threatened by India’s water woes.
Cities are facing a scarcity of water that is affecting millions of their inhabitants. The process of climate change will exacerbate this as it expands the number of drought periods over the years. Then there are other factors like the overdrawing of groundwater, increasing salination of water supplies, and deterioration in the quality of water, which are putting huge stress on already over-burdened water services. Most importantly, the issue of water security is emerging gradually due to the lack of adaptive strategies in the face of climate change.
Aside from the economic crisis, the news in Thailand has been dominated by reports of this year’s drought. Drought is common, but this cycle is particularly bad. The most recent severe drought happened almost 20 years ago during El Niño, the phenomenon caused by shifts in Pacific trade winds and ocean temperatures. El Niño is back this year; its full force is still to be felt and has the potential to be strong and last until next March.