5 Must-Watch Documentaries to Understand the Water Crisis

A 2019 NITI Aayog report said that India is suffering from the worst water crisis in its history, and almost 600 million of its population is water-deprived.

In the heart of India, water resources have always been treasured as shared gifts, far beyond mere economic values and price tags. Yet, this very perspective has unintentionally fueled a profound challenge – excessive consumption! With the hopeful belief that rain would endlessly replenish our water supplies, we find ourselves facing a profound water crisis. However, the hard truth is that on a per capita basis, water availability has steadily declined over the years, from 1,816 cubic meters in 2001 to 1,546 in 2011, and further down to 1,367 cubic meters in 2021.

To truly grasp the gravity of the water crisis, not only in India but also across the globe, we’ve hand-picked five enlightening documentaries for you. These films will shed light on the current situation, help you understand the challenges we face, and most importantly, inspire us all to take action and bring about positive change.

1. Pipasa: A Lallantop Documentary Film (2023)

Join the Lallantop crew on this eye-opening journey as they delve into the water crisis in the Barmer region of the Thar Desert. This documentary provides an in-depth look at the causes of the crisis, how it’s affecting the lives of the locals, and the inspiring efforts being made to tackle it. The Thar Desert, with its millions of inhabitants, faces increasingly severe water scarcity due to factors like climate change, overgrazing, and population growth. Imagine having to walk for miles just to find water, and even then, it’s often contaminated and unsafe to drink. The impact is not only on thirst but also on the loss of crops and livestock, making life a challenging struggle for these resilient communities. But there’s hope! The crew also witnessed incredible initiatives to address this crisis head-on. From building water tanks to implementing rainwater harvesting systems and desalination plants, the locals and dedicated organizations are working tirelessly to create lasting solutions.

2. The Story of Bottled Water (2010)

Have you heard about “The Story of Bottled Water” brought to you by the amazing folks behind the Story of Stuff Project? It’s a captivating film that uncovers the truth behind the manufactured demand for bottled water in America. Can you believe people in the USA buy over half a billion bottles of water every week, even when they have access to tap water? The documentary dives deep into the tactics used by the bottled water industry to undermine tap water and how they rely on alluring environmental-themed advertising to hide the massive plastic waste they create. The film ends on a positive note, urging people to “take back the tap” by avoiding bottled water and supporting investments in clean, accessible tap water for everyone!

3. The Polluted River Poisoning A Million Children A Year (2021)

Step into a fascinating world along the banks of the Holy Ganga! This incredible documentary takes us on a journey through the lives of diverse communities, from indigenous groups living in harmony with the river to modern traders, artists, and artisans making their livelihoods by its side. However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. The documentary also sheds light on the darker side, where the waters that are worshipped are sadly being polluted. Shockingly, over a million young children are affected by this river’s contamination each year. Despite its holy significance, the Ganges faces challenges in maintaining its purity. You’ll be amazed to discover that no other river holds such a profound influence over its people. So, let’s learn, appreciate, and together, strive to protect this invaluable natural treasure.

4. Water Voices (2003)

“Water Voices” is a seven-part documentary series that showcases incredible stories of people tackling the water crisis in Asia and the Pacific. Each heartwarming episode features inspiring individuals who have discovered local solutions to address the pressing water problems in their regions. Experience the coastal communities of Fiji Islands protecting water resources and their precious coral reef. Then, witness the courageous village women in Gujarat, India, as they battle drought to secure a closer water supply for their homes. As the series unfolds, you’ll also discover how people are peacefully resolving conflicts over water usage in Thailand’s Ping River. The stories continue to amaze showcasing dedicated community organizers in Tonga and Kiribati who work tirelessly to safeguard water resources and the environment. Finally, be inspired by a local NGO pioneer in an ingenious scheme to bring clean water to the slums of Dhaka. These tales of hope and ingenuity prove that “homegrown” solutions can make a significant difference in combating the water crisis. So, let’s celebrate these unsung heroes who are transforming their communities and safeguarding our precious water resources!

5. Thirst: When Our Water Disappears by DW Documentary (2022)

As climate change heats up the planet, we’re witnessing more extreme weather events and droughts, leading to springs and wells drying up. It’s a critical situation where the demand for water is on the rise, and the fight for control over precious water reserves has already begun. So, dive into this thought-provoking documentary and gain valuable insights into the challenges we face and the importance of preserving our most vital resource. Get ready to be inspired to take action and make a positive impact!

Let’s join forces because the time has come to embrace a new understanding of the “water crisis” and nurture our most precious lifeline!