Water scarcity and migration: An Indian perspective

Mrittika Basu, Rajib Shaw

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Citations (Scopus)


Over the last few years, impacts of environmental variability on population migration have been an increasing concern over the world. Estimates have suggested that between 25 million and 1 billion people could be displaced by climate change over the next 40 years. Though it is very difficult to delineate the specific drivers behind human migration, an attempt has been made in this chapter to discuss various reported cases across the world and more specifically, India where environment has played a major role in population movement. The chapter begins by outlining important definitions of migration and environmentally induced migration. It focuses on how environmental change and environmental hazards, especially water scarcity, contribute to human migration by exploring the mechanisms through which vulnerability and migration are linked. The process of movement and migration is usually subject to a complex set of push and pull forces, where push forces relate to the source area while pull factors relate to the destination. Emphasizing water scarcity as one of the prime push factors behind migration, various instances of population movement have been discussed from various parts of India. Understanding the importance of migration in development of a sustainable society, the chapter identifies various gaps that need to be addressed, which, in turn, will help in incorporating environment-induced migration into the decision-making process.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWater Insecurity
Subtitle of host publicationA Social Dilemma
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages25
ISBN (Print)9781781908822
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameCommunity, Environment and Disaster Risk Management
ISSN (Print)2040-7262
ISSN (Electronic)2040-7270


  • Environment
  • Migration
  • Rural-urban linkage
  • Temporary movement
  • Water scarcity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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