Experts: India has just five years to solve its water crisis

The world’s second-most populous country is running out of water.

About 100 million people across India are on the front lines of a nationwide water crisis. A total of 21 major cities are poised to run out of groundwater next year, according to a 2018 report by government-run think tank NITI Aayog.

Much-needed monsoon rains have only just arrived in some places, running weeks late, amid a heatwave that has killed at least 137 people this summer.

Groundwater, which has been steadily depleting for years, makes up 40% of the country’s water supply. But other sources are also running dry — almost two-thirds of India’s reservoirs are running below normal water levels, the country’s Central Water Commission said in June.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently created the Ministry of Jal Shakti (water power) to oversee water resource management, and reiterated his election campaign promise to provide piped water to every rural home by 2024.

But many fear it won’t be enough. According to