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Santa Monica, California, RAND, 2005.  p.Demographic factors play an important role in environmental change, along with biophysical, economic, sociopolitical, technological, and cultural factors, all of which are interrelated. Recent demographic trends have sparked concern about the impact of the human population on a critical element of the natural environment - fresh water. In the last 70 years, the world's population has tripled in size while going from overwhelmingly rural to a near balance of urban and rural - a change that affects both how humans use water and the amount they consume. In the late 1980s, concern over a potential water crisis began to grow. Much of the resulting literature has taken an alarmist view. Numerous reports sensationalized the so-called water crisis without talking into account the local or regional nature of water resources and the relationship between supply and demand. A number of factors are cited to support the position that the earth is headed toward a water crisis. They include the following: the human population continues to grow; water withdrawals are outpacing population growth; per-capita water availability is declining; clean, potable water is less available worldwide. (excerpt)
ENVIRONMENT. 1995 Jul-Aug; 37(6):6-11, 25-34.Population in 1995 was about 1.2 billion in China and about 935 million in India. Populations are expected to reach respectively 1.5 billion and 1.4 billion by 2025. These two countries now and in the future will average about 35% of total world population. This article compares the current and expected demographic, economic, and environmental conditions in China and India. How these countries manage their growth, poverty, and population will affect the region and the world as well as each nation. China's fertility is now below replacement but population momentum will increase population by about 300 million/year. India's fertility is 3.6 children/woman and India will add 450 million/year. China's population over 60 years old will reach 20% by 2020, while India's will be under 15% in 2025. China will be almost 55% urban by 2025 from 30% in the 1990s, and India will be 45% urban from 27% urban. China's economic growth has averaged over 9%/year compared to India's 5% annual growth during the 1980s and the economic decline during the 1990s. China has 12% of rural population living below the poverty line and India has about 33% of its total population impoverished. China's life expectancy is about 10 years higher. Under-five mortality is 43/1000 live births in China and 131/1000 in India. Poverty-related diseases are still high in India. China is a homogenous population with an authoritarian regime. India is a democracy with a large nongovernmental community and a heterogenous population. India has about 33% of the land area of China but over twice the agricultural land per person. About 50% of China's land and only 25% of India's land is irrigated. Water resources are problems in northern China and much of India. Air and water pollution are problems in both countries. Differences in the population-environment-development context are discussed in terms of the effects of poverty, the constraints posed by development, and the environmental impact of rising per capita consumption. It is concluded that India faces the more difficult future.
Water in India with reference to agriculture and population: some issues and patterns -- dynamic approaches needed for development.
GEOJOURNAL. 1990 Mar; 20(3):271-84.Population growth is increasing the demand for water in India, especially for agricultural purposes. Yet, the government of India has not included an assessment of water needs for an expanding population into its development strategy. The leading obstacle to such an assessment is lack of quality data. In fact, the latest data comes from the 1981 Census. A government official proposes to transform climate and water balance synthesis into crop regions as a means to evaluate the national or macro level effects on agriculture. Rice is the dominant crop of the eastern and coastal regions of India which have a humid and rainy climate. The acute to marginally dry crop regions grow jowar, maize, bajra, and ragi and face a water shortage. In dry northwestern India, developed irrigation systems sustain the wheat crop. Agricultural water needs depend on sufficient monsoon rain and/or irrigation. India has 5 microclimates: perhumid, humid, dry, semiarid, and arid regions. 40.7% of all of India which comprises 33.4% of the population is prone to drought. Rural-urban migration since 1960 has increased the urban population size in India, yet most cities' master plans for provision of safe drinking water for urban dwellers are only advisory rather than mandatory. In fact, 460,000 urban dwellers and many rural dwellers still depend on rivers, canals, or tanks which often are contaminated with sewage, toxins, and radioactive materials. Further, only 0.53% of the rural population has sanitation facilities. 5-level zoning (population-hydrological regions) for India would provide distributional aspects of water by major and minor surface water plans and groundwater, which in turn would bring about a practical infrastructure to different areas for agricultural and population needs. Much of the baseline data needed to develop these regions and to research this system already exists.
[Rome, Italy], FAO, . vi,  p.The dimensions of the water crisis and its implications for the population of the world is the subject of a 4-pamphlet packet distributed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Part 1 relates legends about water and details the role of water in human history. Rapid population growth and its detrimental effects on water conservation and the environmental balance are explained. Recognition of the population growth problem is urged, with government-backed family planning programs recommended. Part 2 gives a detailed explanation of the life cycle and its dependence on soil and water. Climate, vegetation, and types of water are examined in relation to their role in the distribution of available water resources. Future water resources and demand are projected for agriculture, industry, and domestic use. The disruption of the balance between man and water and the problem of water pollution are addressed, as are deforestation, desertification, drought, and the greenhouse effect. Part 3 offers a view of inland waters and agriculture, with a history of irrigation and the role of irrigation today. Rural water, its use, sources, storage, and collection are examined in relation to work distribution, family size, and sanitation. Problems arising from unsafe water supplies, including disease, infection, and malnutrition are discussed, and examples are given of small-scale projects that have successfully addressed these problems. The final section deals with water and the future. A continuing effort at water and land conservation, as well as surface water and ground water management, is urged. Irrigation planning and supporting systems, such as terracing, fallowing, and improved cropping patterns, are presented as further management techniques. Preserving existing resources, lifting, various kinds of wells, new storage methods and purification systems, are suggested to increase domestic water conservation. Examples of water projects in Africa, Asia, and the South Pacific are presented. Finally, population management and its crucial role in future water resources allocation, conservation, and distribution, is provided.