Millions of people living in the lower reaches of the Ganges in India may face food shortages in the next 30 years if the river continues to lose water due to factors such as unsustainable extraction of groundwater.
As part of the study, the Ganges site from the city of Varanasi in the state of Uttar Pradesh in northern India to the Bay of Bengal was studied. The researchers concluded that, in the absence of intervention, the contribution of groundwater to the river’s water flow will continue to decrease in summer periods over the next 30 years.
According to the estimates of researchers, at present, irrigation by surface waters for the cultivation of crops accounts for 27% of the total irrigation in the study area. This means that reducing the flow of the Ganges will also seriously affect the amount of water available for irrigation, and in the future food production may be reduced.
The forecast of scientists shows that about 115 million people may suffer due to food shortages in the coming decades.