“India’s Ominous Future: Too Little Water, or Far Too Much”

“Decades of short-sighted government policies are leaving millions defenseless in the age of climate disruptions – especially the poor.”

“The monsoon is central to Indian life and lore. It turns up in ancient Sanskrit poetry and in Bollywood films. It shapes the fortunes of millions of farmers who rely on the rains to nourish their fields. It governs what you eat. It even has its own music.

Climate change is now messing with the monsoon, making seasonal rains more intense and less predictable. Worse, decades of short-sighted government policies are leaving millions of Indians defenseless in the age of climate disruptions – especially the poor.

After years of drought, a struggling farmer named Fakir Mohammed stares at a field of corn ruined by pests and unseasonably late rains. Rajeshree Chavan, a seamstress in Mumbai, has to sweep the sludge out of her flooded ground floor apartment not once, but twice during this year’s exceptionally fierce monsoon. The lakes that once held the rains in the bursting city of Bangalore are clogged with plastic and sewage. Groundwater is drawn faster than nature can replenish it.”

Bryan Denton and Somini Sengupta report for the New York Times November 25, 2019.