Water Scarcity in India
How to define water scarcity
- The average annual water availability of any region or country is largely dependent upon hydro-meteorological and geological factors.
- However, water availability per person is dependent on population of a country.
- The per capita water availability in the country is reducing due to increase in population.
- The annual per-capita water availability of less than 1700 cubic meters is considered as water stressed condition.
Water scarcity in India
- Based on the study of “Reassessment of Water Availability in India using Space Inputs” (CWC, 2019), the average annual per capita water availability for year 2031 has been assessed as 1367 cubic meters.
- As per Dynamic Ground Water Resource Assessment 2022, out of the total 7089 assessment units (Block/Taluks/ Mandals/watersheds/Firkas) in the country, 1006 units in 16 States/UTs have been categorized as ‘Over-exploited’ where the Annual Ground Water Extraction is more than Annual Extractable Ground Water Resource.
- 260 units have been categorized as ‘Critical’, 885 units as ‘Semi- critical’, 4780 units as ‘Safe’ and 158 units as ‘Saline’.
- Water being a State subject, steps for augmentation, conservation and efficient management of water resources are primarily undertaken by the respective State Governments.
- In order to supplement the efforts of the State Governments, Central Government provides technical and financial assistance to them through various schemes and programmes.
Measures to reduce Water Scarcity
Atal Bhujal Yojana:
- Atal Bhujal Yojana, is a World Bank aided Central Sector Scheme of the Government of India with an outlay of Rs 6000 crore.
- It is being implemented with a focus on community participation and demand side interventions for sustainable ground water management in identified water stressed areas.
- The scheme is being taken up in seven states, viz. Haryana, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh through active participation of the communities in the participating States.
- The various activities under the scheme include monitoring and disseminating ground water data, water budgeting, preparation of Gram-Panchayat wise Water Security Plans & their implementation through convergence of ongoing schemes and IEC activities related to sustainable ground water management.
Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojna (PMKSY):
- To ensure optimum utilization of water, Government of India has been implementing Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojna (PMKSY) from 2015-16 onwards.
- Under PMKSY-Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP), 99 ongoing major/medium irrigation projects were prioritized during 2016-17, in consultation with States out of which AIBP works of 50 prioritized projects have been reported to be completed.
- The Command Area Development and Water Management (CADWM) Programme has been brought under PMKSY – Har Khet Ko Pani from 2015-16 onwards.
- The main objective of taking up CAD works is to enhance utilisation of irrigation potential created, and improve agriculture production on a sustainable basis through Participatory Irrigation Management (PIM).
Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM)
- Government of India, in partnership with State, is implementing Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) to make provision of tap water supply to every rural household of the country by 2024.
- As per the Operational Guidelines for the implementation of JJM, States / UTs have been entrusted with the responsibilities to prepare ‘State Action plan.’
- These includes developing of strategies for state-wide rejuvenation and cleaning of village water bodies/traditional water harvesting structures, grey water treatment and reuse.
- As such, protection and preservation of water bodies will be helpful in achieving drinking water security
- Government of India has launched AMRUT 2.0 on 1st October, 2021, covering all the statutory towns of the country to ensure universal coverage of water supply & make cities ‘water secure’.
- It envisages rejuvenation of water bodies, urban aquifer management, promote recycle & reuse and rainwater harvesting to augment freshwater resources.
- The Aquifer Management Plan will also be prepared to focus on maintaining positive groundwater balance in urban aquifer systems.
Bureau of Water Use Efficiency (BWUE)
- The Bureau of Water Use Efficiency (BWUE) has been set up for promotion, regulation and control of efficient use of water in irrigation, industrial and domestic sector.
- The Bureau will be a facilitator for promotion of improving water use eﬃciency across various sectors namely irrigation, drinking water supply, power generation, industries, etc. in the country.
Mission Amrit Sarovar
- The Mission Amrit Sarovar was launched on National Panchayati Raj Day on 24th April, 2022 as a part of celebration of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav with an objective to conserve water for future.
- The Mission is aimed at developing and rejuvenating 75 water bodies in each district of the country.
Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch the Rain” (JSA:CTR) – 2022
Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch the Rain” (JSA:CTR) – 2022 campaign, the third in the series of JSAs, has been launched on 29.3.2022 to cover all the blocks of all districts (rural as well as urban areas) across the country.
The focused interventions of the campaign include
- water conservation and rainwater harvesting
- enumerating, geo-tagging & making inventory of all water bodies; preparation of scientific plans for water conservation based on it
- Setting up of Jal Shakti Kendras in all districts
- intensive afforestation and
- awareness generation.