Reviving water bodies and rivers should be India’s biggest priority, as the threat of water crisis looms large due to climate change, said Suresh Prabhu, Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation.

“Climate change is real and it has been caused by human actions only. While climate change will lead to rise in sea levels and impact agriculture, it also poses a bigger threat to water security,” he said, after releasing a book titled The Climate Solution - India’s Climate Change Crisis and What we can do about it by Mridula Ramesh, founder, Sundaram Climate Institute, here on Thursday.

Storage capacity

As it is, many parts of the country face water crisis, he said, and stressed the need to create better and bigger storage capacity for water in the context of changing rain patterns as a result of global warming.

India has only 4 per cent fresh water of the world and it is not equally distributed across the country. It may rain just for four days and not rain for the rest of the year.

The four days’ rains will be in huge quantum and require huge storage capacities, he added.

India’s water storage capacity is just 1/20th of what the US has. While the US gets water through rains and melting of snows, monsoon rain is responsible for 85 per cent of India’s annual precipitation and is also vital for the country’s agriculture sector.

He asserted that there was a need for global and local-level multi-dimensional approaches with participation from all stakeholders to address the issues.