Visakhapatnam: The coastal city of Visakhapatnam is set to face increasing water risks in the next few decades, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has revealed.

The WWF's Risk Filter analysis has said 100 cities that hold importance in national as well as global economies and are home to 350 million people are set to face the greatest rise in water risks by 2050 'unless urgent action is taken to mitigate and adapt to climate change'.

Two Indian cities ' Jaipur (45th) and Indore (75th) ' feature on this list. The WWF report named 28 more Indian cities, which it said will face 'increasing water risks in the next few decades'.

They are Amritsar, Pune, Srinagar, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Kozhikode, Visakhapatnam, Thane, Vadodara, Rajkot, Kota, Nashik, Ahmedabad, Jabalpur, Hubli-Dharwad, Nagpur, Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Dhanbad, Bhopal, Gwalior, Surat, Delhi, Aligarh, Lucknow, and Kannur.

Tipped to be the executive capital of Andhra Pradesh, Visakhapatnam city has a population of over 20 lakh living in over 4.5 lakh houses.

Of them around eight lakh people live in slums and other locations, according to 2011 census. At present, the population in Vizag city might have crossed over 25 lakh and the population in the city may further increase by at least 10 to 15 percent once it becomes executive capital of the state.

The Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) draws water from Yeleru Canal, Godavari, River and reservoirs_Raiwada, Meghadrigedda, Thatipudi, Gosthani, Mudasarlova, Gambheeram, and the public water supply scheme (groundwater). Against the demand of around 95 MGD water, only 65 to 70 MGD is being supplied to meet domestic needs.

Vizag Steel Plant and other industries are getting water supply from the Visakhapatnam Industrial Water Supply Company (VIWSCO). It is providing 35 to 40 million gallons per day (MGD) of water to Vizag Steel Plant.

The drinking water demand for Vizag city is projected at 150 MGD. Coupled with municipalities and villages, the water demand is likely to touch over 190 MGD by 2050. Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy mooted a pipeline from the ongoing Polavaram project.

Over 50 water bodies have encroached in Vizag city for the past one decade. Vizag city finds itself in the throes of an acute water scarcity every summer. "The GVMC failed to take action against those who exploit groundwater in the city. Slowly but surely Vizag city is set to witness water crisis in the coming days," said B Ganga Rao of CPM.

The WWF analysis also gave cities a risk score out of five in 2030 and 2050 where anything above three is a 'high risk' and anything above 4 is a very high risk. All 30 Indian cities received a score of at least three or above for both 2030 and 2050. Ludhiana, Chandigarh, Amritsar and Ahmedabad topped the list with an overall score of 4.9, 4.8, 4.7, and 4.6 respectively.

"The future of India's environment lies in its cities For cities to break away from the current vicious loop of flooding and water scarcity, nature-based solutions like restoration of urban watersheds and wetlands could offer solutions. This is our chance to re-evolve and re-imagine what the future of the cities could be," Dr. Sejal Worah, programme director, WWF India, said in a statement.

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