Water Pollution and Economic Growth: An Environmental Kuznets Curve Analysis at the Watershed and State Level
Indian states showed mixed results with regards to the chosen water quality indicators BOD and COD. Overall the analysis points out that there is large scale variation in the water quality between the 16 states of India with respect to BOD and COD. Out of the 16 Indian states for which EKC estimation were done we found significant relationships between water pollution and per capita income for 12 states; 4 states showed inverted U-shaped curves (i.e. a de-linking of economic growth and water pollution), but 8 states showed N-shaped curves or u-shaped curves (re-linking of growth and pollution). For most of the states the first turning point appeared at a per capita income level of Rs. 5,000 (US $100), and the second turning point at Rs. 15,000 (US$ 320). Thus we can see that many of the Indian states go through similar transitions of initial high per capita pollution followed by improvements of per capita pollution levels and finally further increases of pollution levels with additional economic growth. Many EKC studies have pointed out how beneficial economic growth is for environmental performance of countries; this study does not share this optimism as water pollution in most states of India is getting worse after initial improvements.
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