Water for Life: Commodification, Consumption and Environmental Challenges in India

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Sarita, Harsh Kumar


Since the last few decades, the use of water in India has increased dramatically. Life is fully dependent on water. With the growing dependence of all on water, legal reforms are becoming increasingly urgent. The purpose of this study is to examine the human right to water, the basic requirements for life, its consumption, commodification, and the challenges facing its conservation. The issue is particularly pertinent because water use has been regulated piecemeal or in an rudimentary manner in India. Inadequate regulation has played an important role in facilitating indiscriminate water extraction. There have been severe criticisms of the legal regime governing water in India. The continuation of the rule introduced during the British colonial era, which gives near absolute rights to landowners to exploit use of groundwater which accounts for 60 percent of irrigation water used today. Many of the world's poorest farmers rely solely on groundwater for farming. Around 80 percent of the world's drinking water needs are also met by groundwater. As a result, India now uses more groundwater than any other country. This is therefore criticized. A legal framework for controlling water use is required in these situations. People without land cannot access groundwater as a consequence. Human rights should be considered when rethinking water law based on the human right to water and a governance framework that originates locally.

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