The city of Delhi is facing an overall deterioration of its urban environment due to rapid groundwater abstraction and air pollution, leading to various health issues. The city of Delhi is rapidly expanding as more and more people are migrating to the city for better livelihoods and quality of life. Delhi expanded by 457 sq km during 1989–2014 and the projections indicate that the city will expand by a further 787 sq km by 2024. If not addressed in city planning, the uncontrolled expansion of the city will have several environmental implications.
While urbanization has its benefits, it also contributes to climate change and environmental degradation in multiple ways, including air, water, and land pollution, as well as the concentration of disaster impacts when urbanization is poorly implemented. Industrialization and market-driven urban expansion destroy local natural environments and have health implications.
Poorly planned infrastructure damages the local environment and blocks natural drainage. As a result, increasing incidences of urban floods from high-intensity rainfall events, and disruption of urban life have been reported throughout the country and several flood-related evacuation alerts have been issued in the city. Reduced infiltration opportunity time due to urban pavements and increased groundwater draw has led to rapid depletion of groundwater in the city. The negative impacts of urbanization are further exacerbated by increased high-intensity rainfall events, increased temperatures, and sea-level rise due to climate change.
Increasing population and urban expansion have resulted in the worsening of air and water pollution in the city leading to health issues and contributing to climate change feedback. Delhi is also suffering from rapid depletion of groundwater and groundwater pollution due to population growth and impervious land use.