All India Radio (AIR) IAS UPSC – Significance of Jal Shakti Abhiyan

  • IASbaba
  • July 25, 2019
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Significance of Jal Shakti Abhiyan


Search 8th July 2019 Spotlight here: http://www.newsonair.com/Main_Audio_Bulletins_Search.aspx 


General studies 2:

  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation

General studies 3:

  • Conservation, Environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.
  • Water Pollution, Wastewater management

In news: Inspired by the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s impetus on Jal Sanchay, the Jal Shakti Abhiyan (JSA) is a time-bound, mission-mode water conservation campaign. Ensuring India’s water security and providing access to safe and adequate drinking water to all Indians is a priority of the government. The Jal Shakti ministry will look at the management of country’s water resources and water supply in an integrated and holistic manner, and will work with states to ensure Har Ghar Jal (piped water supply) to all rural households by 2024 under the Jal Jeevan Mission

During the campaign, officers, groundwater experts and scientists from the Government of India will work together with state and district officials in India’s most water-stressed districts for water conservation and water resource management by focusing on accelerated implementation of five target intervention. 

The JSA aims at making water conservation a Jan Andolan through asset creation and extensive communication.

Nodal agency for Urban Renewal: Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs 

The JSA will run in two Phases: 

  • Phase 1 from 1st July to 15th September 2019 for all States and Union Territories
  • Phase 2 from 1st October to 30th November 2019 for States and UTs receiving the retreating monsoon (Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Puducherry and Tamil Nadu). 
  • As many as 600 million people are already estimated to face “high-to-extreme” water stress every year.

Why was it required?

  • One Ministry will lead to one integrated data management system and understanding the gaps present.
  • The need of the hour is the creation of water availability data from various resources on both quality and quantity at one platform.

Intervention Areas

  1. Water conservation and rainwater harvesting
  2. Renovation of traditional and other water bodies/tanks
  3. Reuse and recharge structures
  4. Watershed development
  5. Intensive afforestation
  6. Development of Block and District Water Conservation Plans (To be integrated with the District Irrigation Plans)
  7. Krishi Vigyan Kendra Melas to promote efficient water use for irrigation (Per Drop More Crop), and better choice of crops for water conservation
  8. Urban Waste Water Reuse: In urban areas, plans/approvals with time-bound targets to be developed for waste water reuse for industrial and agriculture purposes. Municipalities to pass by-laws for the separation of grey water and black water. Every urban local body has been asked to first constitute a rainwater harvesting cell which would monitor ground water extraction, water harvesting potential of the city and oversee projects on rainwater harvesting. 
  9. Scientists and IITs to be mobilised at the national level to support the teams
  10. 3D Village Contour Mapping: 3D Village Contour Maps may be created and made accessible for efficient planning of interventions

Budget 2019 India: 

  • The Jal Shakti Ministry, which is executing the government’s mission to provide clean and piped drinking water to every household in the country, has been earmarked Rs 28,261.59 crore in the budget 2019-20. 
  • The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation and Ministry of Water Resources and Ganga Rejuvenation have been merged into the Jal Shakti Ministry. 
  • The National River Conservation Directorate (NRCD), which was under the purview of Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), will also be brought under this umbrella.  It majorly implements pollution abatement works in polluted stretches of various rivers under the National River Conservation Plan (NRCP) and provides assistance to various state governments in this sector. So far it has covered 33 rivers in 76 towns of 15 states.
  • The government has also identified 1,592 blocks which are critical and over exploited, spread across 256 districts for the Jal Shakti Abhiyan. Besides using funds available under various Schemes, the government will also explore possibility of using additional funds available under the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) for this purpose.

Causes of Water Scarcity

  • Overuse of Water: Undeveloped countries’ per capita water consumption is far more than developing and poor countries. An average U.S. family wastes 13,000 gallons of water every year.
  • Geographical distribution: Usage depends on availability of water; Canadian households use an average of 91 US gallons each day, while American households use just over 100 gallons. Contrast this to Israel, where water supplies are limited, which uses an average of only 36 gallons per household per day.
  • Pollution of Water: 80 percent of wastewater from human activities is discharged into waterways without any pollution removal. Bangalore water crisis was due to pollution in city’s lakes and rapid urbanisation.
  • Conflict: Water stress in Yemen, Syria, and Iraq are examples of water crisis due to conflicts. War disrupts the infrastructure as well as administration.
  • Distance: Areas that are considered to be desert, or areas that are secluded deal with water scarcity because they just aren’t close to anywhere that has water.
  • Women in sub-Saharan Africa collectively spend about 40 billion hours a year collecting water. This significantly impacts their employment opportunities.
  • Drought: A drought is an area which is not getting enough rainfall to be able to sustain the life that is residing there. Some areas are in perpetual drought, whereas other areas may be dealing with a drought on occasion. Some examples of it are from India itself, Marathwada region in Maharashtra is usually under drought conditions throughout the year. Another classic example is the recent water crisis in Cape Town, South Africa, major reason here was drought.
  • Climate Change: Due to climate change and rising temperature there is change in global weather pattern and monsoon. Leading to drying up of rivers and reservoirs. Floods too affect the usability of water.


SDG-6: Ensuring universal access to safe and affordable drinking water for all by 2030 

Water-stressed districts: Districts with critical or over-exploited groundwater levels as per the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) 2017. For states without critical and over-exploited groundwater levels, districts with the least availability of groundwater in comparison to the rest of the districts in the state have been selected.

Water stress and water scarcity

  • Water stress is the difficulty of obtaining sources of fresh water for use during a period of time and may result in further depletion and deterioration of available water resources.
  • Water scarcity involves water stress, water shortage or deficits, and water crisis.
  • Water scarcity can be due to physical water scarcity and economic water scarcity. Physical water scarcity refers to a situation where natural water resources are unable to meet a region’s demand and economic water scarcity is a result of poor water management resources.
  • The latter is found more often to be the cause of countries or regions experiencing water scarcity, as most countries or regions lack the means to provide water in an accessible manner.

Must Read: Tackling water-crisis being faced by India

Connecting the Dots:

  1. Will the backlog and bad history of the old ministries let the new Jal Shakti perform better? Examine.
  2. How severe is the problem of groundwater contamination in India? What are its most causative factors?

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