Desperate for water in the Thar Desert
In the latest update from his Out of Eden walk, Salopek investigates the challenges facing India due to water shortages.
Salopek is still making his way across the mighty Thar desert of Rajahstan, meeting locals along the way and trying to better understand their lives. Locals complain that monsoon rains are becoming increasingly erratic and that in just a generation water-tables have dropped significantly. The problem is not restricted to the Thar either. Cities such as Delhi, Hyderabad, and Bangalore could run out of drinking water within two years. A swelling population will only increase pressure on India's depleting fresh water; as things stand, an extra 16 million new people will need clean drinking water each year.
As Salopek continues across the Thar he has found wells with which to parch his thirst, but he is constantly reminded of the water shortages. “You can drink what you wish, this is every traveler’s right,” a local shepherd explains, “but you cannot wash”.