New Delhi (NVI) About 70 percent of surface water in India is unfit for consumption, while 40 million litres of waste water enters rivers and other water bodies with only a tiny fraction being adequately treated, a World Bank Report said.
Quoting the World Bank report at a presentation during the India economic Summit, it suggested that such a release of pollution upstream, lowers the economic growth in downstream areas, thus reducing the GDP growth in these regions by up to a third.
To make it worse, middle-income countries like India, where water pollution is a bigger problem, the impact increases to a loss of almost half of GDP growth.
Moreover, another study estimates that being downstream of polluted stretches in India is associated with a 9 percent reduction in agricultural revenues and a 16 percent drop in downstream agricultural yields.
The report said that as India grows and urbanizes, its water bodies are getting toxic.
The presentation made during the India Economic Summit said, “The cost of environmental degradation in India is estimated to be Rs 3.75 trillion equivalent to 80 billion dollar a year. The health costs relating to water pollution are alone estimated at about Rs 470-610 billion (6.7-8.7 billion dollar per year) – most associated with diarrheal mortality and morbidity of children under five and other population morbidities”.
“Apart from the economic cost, lack of water, sanitation and hygiene results in the loss of 400,000 lives per year in India. Globally, 1.5 million children under five die and 200 million days of work are lost each year as a result of water-related diseases,” The presentation said.