Water Resources in India

The time has come to accept the fact that with its quit less freshwater resources and growing population, India is fast becoming a water-stressed country. Vast populations, having the need to feed and development goals, exerts immense pressure on scarce water resources of the country.

India’s water swilling sectors, agriculture, energy & industry, squeeze majority of the water from the ground water aquifers. Failure to ensure an appropriate and reliable supply of water to assist in the loss of non-availability of jobs.

To achieve a sustainable availability of water to all users of the country, the issue of misuse of fresh water resources needs to be tackled immediately. Keeping all in this view the Government of India is taking preventive measures.

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The Scenario of Indian Groundwater

Apart from the groundwater, water from lakes, ponds and other sources of surface water also fall within the category of freshwater resources.

However, as per the Indian Water Portal, about 85 per cent of rural drinking water is obtained from wells, with 88 percent of it being used for irrigation purposes and nearly 48 percent of the urban population uses groundwater. This displays the importance of groundwater as the resource of freshwater in the country.

In a recent study by the apex body, the Central Ground Water Board, in the country that regulates groundwater usage by industries, it has been stated that groundwater exploitation and contamination has affected about 60-% of Indian districts.

The Union Government in consultation with the State Governments, to check the misuse of groundwater, is documenting a model bill.

Although, prior to this, a similar effort to encourage States to use groundwater more judiciously was undertaken, it has not been effectively implemented uniformly across the country.

India’s Strategy of Water Resources in Saving

Under the National Action Plan on Climate Change the National Water Mission is such one strategy that is being applied to protect the water resources of the country through conservation of water; minimizing wastage and ensuring its equitable distribution both across and within States through Integrated Water Resources Development and Management.

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Goal of National Water Mission

  • Encouragement of citizen and State actions for water conservation, augmentation and preservation;
  • Concentrated attention on vulnerable areas including over-exploited areas;
  • Comprehensive water data base in public domain and assignment of the impact climate change on water resources;
  • Enhancing water use efficiency; and
  • Promotion of basin level Integrated Water Resources Management.

NAQUIM Initiative

An initiative of the Government of India, The National Project on Aquifer Management (NAQUIM) has been launched to map and manage the entire aquifer systems in India.

The Project’s vision is to identify and map aquifers at the micro level; to quantity the available groundwater resources; and to propose plans which are adequate to the scale of demand and aquifer features and institutional arrangements for participatory management.

To conserve water, interlinking of rivers is another strategy that is being followed by the Government. In this strategy, India Rivers are going to be interlinked by a network of reservoirs and canals and which in turn reduce persistent floods in some parts and water shortages in other had organized 4th Indian Water Week that went on from 4th to 8th April. The theme of this event was ‘Water for All: Striving together’.

The event was a multi disciplinary conference with dialogue by National and International community and exhibition water Expo-2016 that showcased the technologies and solutions in the sector of water resources.

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