More than a third of India is currently facing drought after two years of deficient monsoon rainfall. One of the hardest hit areas is the central Indian state of Maharashtra, whose agricultural output contributes over $23 billion to the country’s economy.
Satellite images of reservoirs and cropland in the affected areas show sharp declines in water levels in the state over the last year.
Comparison of water levels at Maharashtra’s third-largest reservoir on 1st April 2015 and 3rd April 2016
India’s water levels are cyclical, with the monsoon season from June to September providing most of the water for agriculture. The drought is concerning because it’s a year-over-year decline and pessimism about next year’s rain causes farmers to plant fewer seeds.