chapter  17
16 Pages

The social construction of scarcity: the case of water in western India

ByLYLA MEHTA

Water scarcity has emerged as one of the most pressing problems in the twentyfirst century. It is estimated that 2.7 billion people will face water scarcity by 2025 (UN 2003). Against a growing alarmism of “water wars,” several global agencies, national governments and NGOs have been concerned with emerging water “crises” and potential water conflicts (e.g. UN 2003; FAO 2003). For example, projections of water supply and population growth rates are predicting a dark scenario of the future: while the average per capita supply of water will decrease by one-third by 2025, water use will increase by about 50 percent during the same period (Vision 21 2000).