The second term of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the beginning of the most crucial period in the history of India’s water sector. All the alarms raised by experts, media and common citizens are coming to pass.

As city after city moves closer to Day Zero, the land of rivers, lakes, wells and tanks fed by a bounteous monsoon is on the verge of becoming the biggest victim of mindless, non-strategic development exacerbated by climate change.

In the nearly two decades that I have been writing on water issues, not a year went by without ominous reports projecting the running out of groundwater, the overuse of rivers and the degradation of water bodies into receptacles of sewage and filth.