These are some of the findings of a new Greenpeace India report, Endangered Waters, which identifies the potential for social unrest if the planned expansion in the number of coal-fired power plants goes ahead.
Lack of access to irrigation water has already been linked to the suicides of thousands of farmers in the area and investing in thirsty coal-fired power plants will only exacerbate water problems in a region that has a long history of under development.
Greenpeace India is calling for an immediate moratorium on allocating water to coal power plants in Vidarbha, while existing allocations must be also re-examined to ensure that the irrigation needs of farmers are not jeopardized.
Additionally, under the Energy [R]evolution scenario, developed by Greenpeace and partner organizations, almost half of India’s power could be provided by renewable energy by 2030, saving billions of cubic meters of water that could irrigate 3.6 million hectares of farmland.
Farmers in Vidarbha struggle to make a living and feed their families
Irrigation has made the farms that do get water more productive. Continue reading