India’s PM Calls For Water Conservation Push As Drought Hits Crops | 6/17/2019 | Staff
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NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday pushed for greater grassroots water conservation efforts amid concerns weak monsoon rains would push millions of drought-hit people to the edge and hammer agricultural production in Asia’s third-biggest economy.

The monsoon season is responsible for around 70% of India’s annual rainfall, and is particularly important for the farm sector since more than half of the country’s arable land is rain-fed.

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“Only 8% of all the rain water in India is conserved,” Modi said in his first monthly radio broadcast after winning re-election last month. “It’s now time to solve this problem.”

India received 24% less rainfall than the 50-year average in the week ended on June 26, data from the India Meteorological Department showed, with scant rains over central and western regions of the country.

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The specter of a crisis this year comes after drought in some parts of India in 2018 destroyed crops, ravaged livestock, exhausted reservoirs, leaving some cities and industries with little water.

“There is no one formula to deal with the water crisis across the country,” Modi said, adding that he had written to scores...
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