Water has become one of the most sought-after products of the 21° century. Because the Indian population is rising and lifestyles are changing, the stress on the water resources is growing. For the women living in rural India, getting a bucket of drinking water is a daily struggle. Water is often contaminated with high levels of fluoride or too saline to drink. 3.5 million hand pumps have been installed everywhere in India, in towns, in slums, in villages. But sources are drying up due to the intense competition among agriculture, industry and domestic users. The acute water scarcity is pushing villagers to move to the cities that are already facing their own water ( but not only) problems. As the Indian population is ever growing, the situation is only expected to worsen.
In the Thar desert ( Rajasthan ), an important water table is located between 50 meters and 100 meters depth. It supplies many wells, most of them being now motorized. These wells fertilize small plots. Moreover, tanks are maintained to retain the scarce showers and a grid of irrigation small canals has been developed near the Indira Gandhi canal, in northwestern Rajasthan. And the miracle has become true : parts of the desert are now green ! Wheat, maize, cotton,…are cultivated where two decades ago there was only sand.