Urban Drought pp 155-167 | Cite as

Urban Droughts in India: Case Study of Delhi

  • Shyamli SinghEmail author
  • Vinod K. Sharma
Part of the Disaster Risk Reduction book series (DRR)


Delhi pioneers in tabling its climate change adaptation action plan in year 2009–2012 with a Water Mission jacketing water conservation, recycling, and distribution of water. The action plan deals with river water sharing pact with other neighboring states, decentralization of wastewater treatment system, connections, and treatment of drain water through interception sewer project. Revival of water bodies and recharging of rainwater, Delhi is having acute water shortage every year and needs long-term strategy for mitigating urban drought. There is a need to include urban drought as one of natural disaster and have its separate guidelines and preparedness plan as in California (USA) and other developed countries. The chapter deals with existing situation of water availability, well known facts establishing climate change such as rise in temperature, intensity of rainfall, storms and cloud bursts. The climate-related extreme events, viz floods and droughts show an increased occurrence and magnitude too. As Indian economy is agrarian, more emphasis is laid on floods and droughts. Ministry of Agriculture, the nodal ministry for droughts lays emphasis on rural area and agriculture. The urban water scarcity leading to “urban drought” is the responsibility of urban planners and urban municipal authorities. To add to the woes of the already scarce water and sanitation supply, the climate change is slowly but certainly skulking into effect, by the means of altering pattern of rainfall and diminishing groundwater resources. 16.78 million and a population density of 11,320/km2 is housed in Delhi, Capital of India. The water demand is further increasing because of floating population and tourists. To add to the despairs, the population is gradually increasing every year with continuous migration from rural areas of neighboring states. Delhi is situated on the bank on river Yamuna, flanked by Indo-Gangetic alluvial plains in the North and East, the Thar Desert positions in the west, and the south is laced by the Aravalli. Out of the annual rainfall of 65–72 cm, 75% precipitation is experienced within a span of three months. Summer months from April to June show a maximum temperature of 40–45 °C. Water in summer season particularly in the urban slums need urban drought regulation with legal support, guidelines and regulation on water usage. There is need of sensitization of urban authorities, involving communities and academic institutions, and resident welfare organizations for public awareness. Similar plans can be shared with other metropolitan cities of India to provide water security to the urban population. Mainstreaming disaster risk reduction (DRR) is an imperative pledge of India thus various ministries, viz Ministry of Urban Development, Ministry of Water Resources, and Ministry of Agriculture the nodal Ministry can conjointly develop an approach for urban drought mitigation. India is committed to mainstream disaster risk reduction (DRR) and hence, Ministry of Urban Development, Ministry of Water Resources, and Ministry of Agriculture the nodal Ministry can conjointly develop a strategy for urban drought mitigation.


Climate change Urban drought mitigation Urban planning Disaster Water and sanitation Capacity building 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Indian Institute of Public AdministrationNew DelhiIndia

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