3. What are some of the most important initiatives taken by the Ministry of Water Resources to conserve and augment India’s water bodies? Discuss. (15 Marks)
भारत के जल निकायों के संरक्षण और संवर्द्धन के लिए जल संसाधन मंत्रालय द्वारा की गई कुछ सबसे महत्वपूर्ण पहलें क्या हैं? चर्चा करें।
Candidates need to discuss/widely cover some of the most important initiatives taken by the Ministry of Water Resources to conserve and augment India’s water bodies.
Water scarcity is one of the serious concerns for countries across the world. In 2019, Chennai made international headlines when the civic bodies declared ‘Day Zero’, as the city ran out of water and all the reservoirs dried up.
Some of the most important initiatives taken by the Ministry of Water Resources to conserve and augment India’s water bodies:
The Government of India has created the Ministry of Jal Shakti by integrating the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation and the Department of Water Resources River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, with a goal of integrated water resources management under one umbrella, so that all the issues relating to water are dealt with in a holistic manner.
Some of the most important initiatives taken by the Ministry of Water Resources to conserve and augment India’s water bodies includes:
- The Ministry of Jal Shakti under the Indian government launched the Jal Shakti Abhiyan in 2019. It is a nation-wide water conservation campaign that aims at encouraging citizen participation to promote water conservation at the grassroot level.
- Jal Shakti is monitoring Interlinking of River (ILR) programme with the mission of ensuring greater equity in the distribution of water by enhancing the availability of water in drought prone and rain-fed area.
- On the World Water Day, March 22nd 2021, the government launched the ‘Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch the Rain’ with the theme ‘Catch the rain, where it Falls When it Falls’ under which, the government focuses on creation/ maintenance of water conservation and rainwater harvesting structures, renovation of various traditional water bodies tanks, reuse and recharge of bore wells, watershed development and intensive afforestation.
- Jal Shakti Abhiyan – Har Ghar Jal Scheme (National Water Conservation Scheme 2019-20) was launched to ensure water security and providing safe water to all Indians with the aim to provide drinking water supply for all rural households in the country by 2024.
- The Jal Jeevan Mission is set to stress on local infrastructure for rainwater harvesting, management of waste water for sustainability of source as well.
- Focus is on various water conservation efforts like point recharge, desilting of minor irrigation tanks, use of grey water for agriculture and source sustainability.
- The Jal Jeevan Mission will connect with other Central and State Government Schemes to achieve its objectives of sustainable water supply management across the country.
A report by NITI Aayog, a government think-tank, said that if methods for water conservation in India were not adopted, another 20 cities including Bengaluru, Delhi and Hyderabad, would run out of groundwater in the next few years. The only solution to avoid this grim situation, is to adopt universal methods of water conservation, which could be replicated across households.