India is going to recognise as New India. New India is not only the change in name. It is to change India, to transform India. The transformation is not only limited to other sectors. Resource conservation methods must be transformed. So, there is a need for “Water Conservation as a National Movement”.
India is not only committed to fulfilling its international obligations towards
- biodiversity conservation,
- environmental management,
- climate change mitigation,
- social justice,
- equity as well as peace.
India faces several limitations and global challenges in order to realise his dreams, expectation and ever-rising aspirations of its people.
Signs of water scarcity by way of limited asses declining quantity and deteriorating quality are evident. Everyone realised that water is not only essential for all life forms but it also connects every aspect of life.
Water conservation as a National Movement
- Earth predominantly 70% covered by water only 2.5 % fresh water.
- India harbours only 4% of the world’s freshwater resources.
- Less than 1% of the freshwater is easily accessible in rivers and lakes.
Water scarcity in a different part of the country is rising.
Now, We will see some reasons
Reasons of water scarcity
- Increasing population
- Runoff due to deforestation
- Loss of green cover
- Changing lifestyles
- Enhanced consumption patterns
- Expansion of irrigated agriculture
- Pollution of water by sewage and dumping of urban wastes
Due to this several parts of the country are prone to water borne diseases and human health major concern.
Relation between Nature, water and people
Nature plays a unique role in regulating different features of the water cycle. Maintaining healthy forests, grasslands and wetlands directly lead to improved water security.
While forests often receive the most attention when it comes to land cover, hydrology, grassland, wetlands and agriculture lands also play a significant role in water cycling.
In order to appreciate causes of water crisis and develop holistic approaches for ensuring water security in the country.
Water conservation primary evolves the following three objectives:
- Enhance water availability
- Improve water quality
- Reducing water related risks
Enhance Water Availability
This could be achieved by adopting a mixed strategy.
By focusing on protection.
Restoration of natural ecosystems (forest grassland and wetland including rivers).
- Increasing green cover aiming at source sustainability
- Managing riparian forest buffers
- Adoption of water efficient diversified agriculture
- Encouraging rainwater harvesting
- Undertaking masa soil and moisture conservation efforts
- Storage in reservoirs
- Water budgeting
- Recycling and reuse.
Improve Water Quality
This means effective law enforcement and stringent regulations:
- Pollution control
- restrictions on pouring of sewage
- urban waste,
- prohibition on the use of toxics (pesticides and weedicides) in Agriculture
- Adoption of bioremediation techniques
Reducing water-related risks
Considerable area of the country is being annually impacted by droughts, floods, long dry spells.
- Adoption of integrated watershed management programme,
- flood control mechanisms,
- Climate resilient agriculture
Promotion of alternate income generation activities and sustainable livelihoods can minimise risks and disaster management.
A National Movement
To achieve the objective of water conservation there is a need for National movement. It is essential to optimally revive traditional methods, tools, techniques and best practices of rainwater harvesting.
GOI has realised the merit of adopting a comprehensive approach towards water conservation.
- A uniform Central ministry of Jal Sakti has been made responsible for country’s water resources.
- Responsible means
- Development of groundwater resources
- River development and rejuvenation
- Irrigation flood control
- Resolving inter-state river dispute
- Interlinking of rivers
- Government launched a campaign namely jalshakti abhiyan for water conservation.
- In recent decades, India has made huge investments towards implementation of “Integrated Watershed Development Programme” and more or less it has taken a shape of a national movement particularly in rainified areas.
- Some of other prominent scheme launched by the ministry
- Harhar khet Ko Pani
- more crop per drop
- Jal sakti abhiyan
- river basin management
- National water mission
- National mission for clean Ganga
- Namami gange
- National mission for sustainable agriculture National mission for the sustainable Himalayas is interlinking of river groundwater management flood control and forecast
- Green India mission
- The several States have also initiated their own flagship programmes related to water management.
Sustainable management of water resources requires striking a balance between supply and demand, between the immediate requirement during the current/next year and decades in to the future between the water quantity and quality.