Death in Parched Farm Field Reveals Growing India Water Tragedy – Bloomberg 05-22-13

Salient to Investors:

The loss of water rights to heavy industry, the worst drought in four decades and the rise in debt that follows is causing farmers to take their own lives – more than 2,200 farmers in India committed suicide in the past 4 years.

Mandar Sathe at Prayas said a lot of the drought is man-made, like inefficient distribution for irrigation.

The Central Water Commission said 8 of 12 of Maharashtra’s main reservoirs have water levels below the 10-yr average.

Naina Lal Kidwai at HSBC said water shortages have prevented construction of 30,000 MW of power plants throughout India, 13 percent of current capacity.

IEA said India and China alone plan to build $720 billion of coal-burning power plants in two decades, or more than twice the total power capacity in the US. Coal-powered plants on average consume 3 times as much water as natural gas-fired stations per unit of power produced. 400 million of India’s 1.2 billion people are without power.

Richard Manley at Goldman Sachs said the situation is more acute in India than in China and at a point where it’s quickly going to become a real business risk in Asia.

HSBC said India is the most vulnerable of G-20 to future water stress with supplies dangerously near extreme scarcity levels by 2030.

Jai Krishna at Greenpeace says conflicts between industry and farmers will worsen as water becomes scarcer, and prioritization for farmers over industry is essential especially in an area where irrigation has been neglected for years.

Read the full article at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-21/death-in-parched-farm-field-reveals-growing-india-water-tragedy.html

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