Context:- India’s groundwater table is declining, cities like chennai, delhi are on the brink, India is 56% water deficit. According to World bank data, by 2050 India will have water availability of 1140 BCM but it needs 1180 BCM. To solve this crisis, the government is taking measures.

  • Water being a State subject conservation and efficient management of water resources are primarily undertaken by the respective State Governments. 
  • The Government of India along with States is implementing Jal Jeevan Mission-HarGharJal, which aims at providing potable water in adequate quantity of prescribed quality on regular and long term basis to every rural household through tap water connection by 2024.
  • Government of India has launched Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) on 25th June, 2015 in select 500 cities and towns across the country. 
    • The water supply component includes new, augmentation and rehabilitation of the water supply system
    • Rejuvenation of water bodies for drinking water supply and special water supply arrangement for difficult areas, hills and coastal cities, including those having water quality problems.
  • Under HarKhetKoPani (HKKP) component of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY), Repair, Renovation and Restoration (RRR) of Water Bodies Scheme was launched which aims to revive irrigation potential by improvement and restoration of water bodies by enhancing the tank storage capacity, along with other multiple objectives such as ground water recharge, increased availability of drinking water, improvement of catchment of tank commands etc.
    • 1,549 water bodies have been reported to be completed upto March, 2021.
  • During 2016-17, ninety-nine (99) on-going major/medium irrigation projects (and 7 phases) under PMKSY – Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme (AIBP) have been prioritized in consultation with States for completion in phases out of which AIBP works of 44 projects have been reported to be completed/almost completed. 
  • Atal Bhujal Yojana, a Central Sector Scheme, with focus on community participation, demand side interventions and convergence of ongoing schemes for sustainable groundwater management is being implemented from 1 April 2020 in seven States – Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
  • The National Water Mission had started a campaign “Sahi Fasal” to nudge farmers to favor agricultural crops which consume less water and to use water more efficiently in agriculture, as a part of demand side management.
  • National Water Mission, in a bid to draw attention to critical aspects of water, and to promote dialogue and information sharing among participants on a variety of water related topics, has initiated a monthly seminar series – “Water Talk” on 22nd March, 2019, the World Water Day. 
  • The “Water Talk” is intended to create awareness, build capacities of stakeholders and to encourage people to become active participants in the conservation and saving of water. 
  • Fifteenth Finance Commission (FFC) in its report for 2021-26, has earmarked 60 per cent for national priorities like drinking water supply and rainwater harvesting and sanitation, out of the total grants earmarked for Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRI). 
    • For fifty Million – Plus cities, two-thirds of allocation of funds under Challenge Fund of Rs. 38,196 crore is meant for meeting service level benchmarks on drinking water supply, rainwater harvesting, water recycling, solid waste management and sanitation.
  • The FFC report also emphasises on sustainable and efficient water use and has suggested three ways to reduce and rationalise water use in agriculture: 
    • (i) by replacing free or subsidised power supply for agriculture with direct benefit transfers (DBT), 
    • (ii) encouraging use of new technologies such as drip, sprinkler, sensor-based irrigation to get more crop per drop, and 
    • (iii) by conserving and rainwater harvesting to increase the availability of surface as well as groundwater. 
  • FFC has recommended incentive-based grants to States that maintain and augment groundwater stock and maintain a check on any fall in the water table.
  • At the time of announcement of JalJeevan Mission, only 3.23 crore households were reported to have tap water connections. Since then, another 4.64 crore rural households have been provided tap water connections. 
  • As per Delhi Jal Board (DJB), Government of NCT of Delhi, to overcome water crisis and augment  raw water resources in Delhi, DJB has laid water pipelines in a large number of colonies during the last six years leading to achieving an increase of 7,67,623 number of water connections. 


Source:- PIB, The Hindu


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