The National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) conducted a study on the problem of declining ground water levels across the country and reported that the overexploitation of ground water resources is widespread throughout the country. Water table levels are sinking at an alarming rate and nine Indian states are now running major water deficits. Surveys have found that water table levels are dropping at the rate of 0.6 to 0.7 metres per year in some parts of Haryana and half a metre per year across large areas of Punjab.India has a national average of 2,464 cubic metres of water per capita per year.

A World Bank study warns that six of India's 20 major river basins have less than 1,000 cubic metres per year, with localised shortages endemic in all. 34 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East are classified as water stressed. By 2025, the number of people living in water-stressed countries is projected to climb from 470 million to 3 billion. The vast majority of water stressed populations will be in Africa and South Asia.


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