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In many parts of the world, freshwater crisis is largely due to increasing water consumption and pollution by rapidly growing population and aspirations for economic development, but, ascribed usually to the climate. However, limited understanding and knowledge gaps in the factors controlling climate and uncertainties in the climate models are unable to assess the probable impacts on water availability in tropical regions. In this context, review of ensemble models on δ18O and δD in rainfall and groundwater, 3H- and 14C- ages of groundwater and 14C- age of lakes sediments helped to reconstruct palaeoclimate and long-term recharge in the North-west India; and predict future groundwater challenge. The annual mean temperature trend indicates both warming/cooling in different parts of India in the past and during 1901–2010. Neither the GCMs (Global Climate Models) nor the observational record indicates any significant change/increase in temperature and rainfall over the last century, and climate change during the last 1200 yrs BP. In much of the North-West region, deep groundwater renewal occurred from past humid climate, and shallow groundwater renewal from limited modern recharge over the past decades. To make water management to be more responsive to climate change, the gaps in the science of climate change need to be bridged.
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