The monsoon has now failed for two consecutive years. Not coincidentally, the dispute between Punjab and Haryana over sharing of river waters has resurfaced. The invocation of Section 144 in Latur, Maharashtra, to prevent violence over water scarcity is not unrelated either. A recent BBC report on the Ganga’s receding water levels was provocatively titled: Is India facing its worst-ever water crisis?
A University of Cambridge study has found that India has faced much worse in the past. It suggests that the Indus Valley civilization—progenitor of the current civilizational state of India—could have suffered a drought spell lasting 200 years. This prolonged failure of monsoon could have massively contributed to the end of a once flourishing civilization. The current challenges of water scarcity and climate change are, therefore, far more serious than they seem. They can claim the lives of entire civilizations, no matter how sophisticated.