Jun 04, 2018

Water Crisis in Shimla, India

Tourists warned to avoid the city as it deals with severe water shortages

Shimla, India in the midst of a major water crisis

The water supply in Shimla, India, has been critically low for three years, but the city’s supply ran out entirely on May 20, 2018. The city is host to 172,000 residents, and throughout the severe shortage, citizens have been required to wait in line for hours each day to be given their allotment of water.

The city is a popular tourist attraction, which reaches its peak in June of every year, ballooning its population by an additional 100,000 people. Residents of the city have taken to social media in attempts to convince tourists from staying away until the city can get a better handle of its water situation.

Law enforcement has been deployed to water distribution sites in order to maintain order. The city has already seen protests resulting from the scarce supply as this marks another water crisis in the wake of major water shortages and Day Zero in Cape Town, South Africa.

The primary source cause for this crisis is not explicit, with some blaming rampant mismanagement of resources, while others focus on low snowfall. In any case, it is estimated the city loses approximately 40% of its water daily due to leaks during the pumping and distribution phases. Without such significant leaking, the city would be receiving roughly 70 million liters of water per day.

The country of India at large is likely to face similar water crises at various cities throughout. Its nationwide supply only amounts to 29% of its current capacity, which is the lowest in a decade. Increased contamination in several primary water bodies have also further contributed to the reduced supply.

India accounts for nearly 17% of the world’s population while only claiming 4% of the world’s freshwater resources. 

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