• 71% of Earth’s surface is covered with water but only 3% of earth’s water is fresh. 2.5% of earth’s freshwater is unavailable: locked up in glaciers, polar ice caps, atmosphere, only 0.5% of earth’s water is available fresh water. There are four major sources of surface water. These are rivers, lakes, ponds, & tanks.
• Groundwater Resources: groundwater utilisation is very high in states of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Tamil Nadu. However, there are states like Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Kerala., which utilize only a small proportion of their groundwater potential. States like Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Tripura & Maharashtra are utilizing their ground water resources at a moderate rate.
Water Demand and Utilisation
• Development of irrigation to increase agricultural production has been assigned as very high priority in Five Year Plans, and multipurpose river valleys projects like Bhakra-Nangal, Hirakud, Damodar Valley, Nagarjuna Sagar, Indira Gandhi Canal Project. have been taken up.
• Demand of water for Irrigation: Water is mostly used for irrigation in farming. Rainfall in country varies in space and time, so irrigation is needed. More than 85% of net sown area in Punjab, Haryana, and Western Uttar Pradesh is irrigated. groundwater table is going down in places like Punjab, Haryana, and western Uttar Pradesh because too much groundwater is being used. Some states, like Rajasthan and Maharashtra, have added more fluoride to their groundwater. This has caused arsenic levels to rise in some parts of West Bengal and Bihar.
Madhya Pradesh 66.5
Maharashtra 65 Uttar Pradesh 58.21
West Bengal 57.6
Tamil Nadu 54.7
• Due to declining availability of freshwater and increasing demand, need has arisen to conserve and effectively manage this precious life-giving resource for sustainable development.
• India has to take quick steps and make effective policies and laws, and adopt effective measures for its conservation.
• Besides developing water-saving technologies and methods, attempts are to be made to prevent pollution.
Prevention of Water Pollution
• At 507 stations, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and the State Pollution Control Boards (State Pollution Control Boards) check the water quality of national aquatic resources. In different parts of the country, high levels of heavy or toxic metals, fluoride, and nitrates have led to groundwater pollution. The Water [Prevention and Control of Pollution] Act of 1974 and the Environment Protection Act of 1986 have not been carried out well. The Water Cess Act of 1977, which was meant to cut down on
National Water Policy
• first NWP was adopted in September, 1987. It was reviewed and updated in 2002 and later in 2012. This is formulated by Ministry of Water Resources of Government of India. objectives of National Water Policy are as follows: [i] To provide drinking water to all human beings and animals. [ii] To promote conservation consciousness through education, regulation, incentives and disincentives.
Jal Kranti Abhiyan [2015-16]
• Jal Kranti Abhiyan launched by Government of India in 2015–16 with an aim to ensure water security through per capita availability of water in country.
• Jal Kranti Abhiyan aims at involving local bodies, NGOs & citizens, at large, in creating awareness regarding its objectives.
• following activities have been proposed under Jal Kranti Abhiyan:
(1) Selection of one water stressed village in each 672 districts of country to create a ‘Jal Gram’.
(2) Identification of model command area of about 1000 hectares in different parts of country.
(3) Abatement of pollution:
• Water conservation and artificial recharge.
• Reducing groundwater pollution.
• Construction of Arsenic-free wells in selected areas of country.
(4) Creating mass awareness through social media, radio, TV, print media, poster & essay writing competitions in schools.
• Jal Kranti Abhiyan is designed to provide livelihood and food security through water security.
pollution, has had only small effects.
• Watershed Management is efficient management and conservation of surface and groundwater resources. It makes sure that everything in nature is in balance. It involves stopping runoff and storing and releasing groundwater in different ways, such as with percolation tanks, recharge wells, and so on. Haryali is a watershed development project funded by Central Government. Its goal is to help people in rural areas save water for drinking, farming, fishing, and planting trees.
• Neeru-Meeru [Water and You] programme [in Andhra Pradesh] and Arvary Pani Sansad [in Alwar, Rajasthan] have taken up constructions of various water-harvesting structures such as percolation tanks, dug out ponds [Johad], check dams. through people’s participation. Tamil Nadu has made water harvesting structures in houses compulsory. No building can be constructed without making structures for water harvesting.
• Rainwater harvesting is a method to capture and store rainwater for various uses. This is used to recharge groundwater aquifers. This is a low cost and ecofriendly technique for preserving every drop of water by guiding rainwater to borewells, pits & wells. Hence, it increases water availability. It checks declining groundwater table.