Highlighting the water-stressed regions of India, discuss how reforming agriculture will go a long way in ensuring water security in India. (250W/15M)

Mentors Comment:

Understand the requirement of the question question: what is water scarcity that India is facing for introduction and some data point like niti aayog’s report  or NABARD survey highlights etc; while highlighting the regions that face this challenge, discuss what are the reason for water scarcity through agriculture and their implications; in the end provide way forwards. This should be the pattern of your answer.

Do not lose focus from Water Scarcity and Agriculture. Because there are many urban phenomenon too for this water scarcity but question is specifically asking about how agriculture is the major reason behind this water crisis.

Model Answer:

The NITI Aayog’s water management index was released recently. This, along with a NABARD sponsored study on water productivity of different crops depicts the country’s increasing water stress. The current water crisis in the country is said to be the worst in history. Almost half the population of the country face high to extreme water scarcity.

What are the regions facing this threat?

  • According to a recent official estimate, 22 of the country’s 32 major cities are plagued with acute water shortage.
  • NABARD study shows that around 60 percent of the country’s gross cropped area is facing water crisis.
  • Most serious water crisis is being faced by Maharashtra, Punjab, Haryana, MP, UP and Andhra Pradesh.

Agriculture and water crisis:

  • There are many dimensions to the problem.
  • One of the most important is agriculture, given that it consumes about 83% of India’s freshwater resources.
  • About 80% of the irrigation goes just to rice, wheat and sugarcane.
  • The most intensive cultivation of these water-guzzling crops is high in water-stressed regions.
  • Like sugarcane in Maharashtra, rice and wheat in Punjab and Haryana.
  • Therefore, there is a serious mismatch between the cropping pattern of various crops and water resource availability in the states growing them
  • This in turn is attributed to ill-advised incentives started by the Green Revolution.
  • Green revolution had skewed incentive structures, like heavily subsidized electricity, water and fertilizers for farmers. These have played a significant role in the misalignment of crop patterns in the country.
  • Government incentives as well as assured markets for these crops through procurement, have led to farmers cultivating these water-guzzling crops.
  • India receives an average annual rainfall of 1170 mm, but poor storage infrastructure allows it to store only 6 percent of rainwater, compared to 250 per cent stored by developed nations.
  • Apart from this, poor urban water management, encroachment upon wetlands, leakages in the distribution system, contamination of groundwater and poor storage are some of the other reasons responsible for the water crisis.

What needs to be done in Agriculture to shave off the looming water crisis:

  • Moving such high water-reliant crops to other, relatively water-abundant areas.
  • It is incumbent on the government to find the right incentive structure for a sustainable solution to the water crisis
  • Research and development in multi-resistant, water-efficient and high-yielding crops
  • Investment in alternative modes of irrigation are musts.
  • Central and State Agriculture Universities need to come forward to tackle the situation with innovation and awareness.
  • Investing in readjusting irrigation patterns is equally important for fulfilling the “more crop per drop” objective.
  • Boosting alternative irritation techniques such as drip irrigation is a necessity.
  • Shift from the price policy approach of heavily subsidized inputs to an income policy approach of directly giving money farmers on per hectare basis.
  • Measures such as rainwater harvesting to conserve water have to be taken. This would be more sustainable.


Doubling farm income by 2022 is a target for the government. The tasks of making agriculture remunerative as well as water-friendly eventually coincide. Keeping this in mind, Central Government has formulated the water conservation scheme Atal Bhujal Yojana (ABY) to tackle ever-deepening crisis of depleting groundwater. The scheme emphasises on recharging ground water sources and ensures efficient use of water by involving people at local level. Such steps are in the right direction and more efforts like these are needed.

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4 years ago

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Pritam Kumar
4 years ago
Reply to  Imgroot

Hello Imgroot…
-Introduction is good…
-Points mentioned are good and well arranged…
-Nice answer…Very good approach….well done….keep it up…
Keep writing…
Marks awarded: 7.5/15

4 years ago

CDTEST20618comment image comment image

Pritam Kumar
4 years ago
Reply to  Noah

Hello Noah….
-There is no introduction in your answer….There is no framework in your answer…points are randomly mentioned…
-Regions of scarcity are not mentioned…certain crops are specific to particular region due to which water scarcity is growing….
-There is no linkages among points…individual points are incomplete…not conveying complete ideas….
-Points are too general and does not fulfill to the demand of the question….
Refer our model answer for better clarity….read and attempt again…

prafull sharma
4 years ago

CDTEST20324comment image comment image

Pritam Kumar
4 years ago
Reply to  prafull sharma

Hello Prafull…
-Such introduction is said to have poor in approach…You have directly mentioned about the NITI Aayog and NABARD….while reading mentor’s comment you will get that I have mentioned what 1st need to be written…What is water scarcity that India is facing for and then mention the data…(NITI Aayog and NABARD)…This will complete introduction….
-2nd You have directly jumped in factors for regional imbalances….without mentioning earlier about regional imbalances…It seems you are in too hurry for writing…Though point 1, 2 and 3 are okay…but proper linkages among ideas and paragraphs are inevitable….
-Points under ‘solution to scarcity issue’ are okay….
-Conclusion is okay….though can be explained a bit….
Your answer require more focus towards the question….
Overall, this is just above an average approach….will improve for sure….keep writing…
Marks awarded: 4.5/15

prafull sharma
4 years ago
Reply to  Pritam Kumar

I think quality degraded partly because i wanted to improve speed. Thanks for the review . Will improve it for tomorrow 🙂