Water Management

Water Management

This article covers “Daily Current Affairs” and the topic details “Water Management”. The topic “Water Management” has relevance in the Resource Management section of the UPSC CSE exam.

For Prelims:

About Quick-Fix Water Solutions?

Quick-Fix Water Solutions Initiatives?

For Mains:

GS 3: Resource Management

Challenges in Quick-Fix Solutions in Water Management?

Government Initiatives to Tackle India’s Water Crisis?

Way Forward?

Why in the news?

Non-profits and civil society organisations are increasingly opting for quick-fix solutions to all issues, a tendency that needs to be moderated

About Quick-Fix Water Solutions:

  • River Widening, Deepening, and Straightening: Modifying natural watercourses to increase their capacity to carry water.
  • Water Harvesting Competitions: Encouraging communities to harvest rainwater and adopt water-saving practices.
  • Tree Planting Along Riverbanks: Stabilizing soil and preventing erosion by planting trees along riverbanks.
  • Quick Infrastructure Development: Rapid construction of water facilities like sewage treatment plants and water grids.
  • Artificial Recharge of Aquifers: Injecting water into underground aquifers to replenish groundwater levels.
  • Desalination Plants: Converting seawater into freshwater to meet coastal water needs.


Quick-Fix Water Solutions Initiatives:

Jalyukt Shivar Abhiyan:

  • Maharashtra government initiative (2014) aimed to make the state drought-free through river widening, deepening, and straightening, check dams, and desilting.
  • Criticized by experts for being unscientific, ecologically damaging, leading to erosion, biodiversity loss, and increased flood risk.

Water Cups:

  • A competition initiated by a non-profit organization in 2016 incentivized Maharashtra villages to harvest water for drought-proofing.
  • Criticized for overlooking water quality, groundwater impact, social equity, and maintenance mechanisms.

While quick-fix solutions can provide short-term relief, they often have limitations and may not fully address the underlying complexities of water management. To achieve sustainable water solutions, comprehensive and well-thought-out strategies are essential, considering ecological, social, and long-term impacts.

Challenges in Quick-Fix Solutions in Water Management:

  • Environmental Impacts: Rapid interventions can lead to ecological damage, such as river widening and deepening causing erosion and loss of biodiversity.
  • Limited Community Engagement: Quick-fix approaches may lack adequate participation and consultation with stakeholders, leading to resistance and conflicts.
  • Funding Dependency: Relying on corporate social responsibility (CSR) funding can limit decision-making freedom and prioritize projects influenced by donor interests rather than community needs.
  • Neglecting Groundwater Management: Quick-fix solutions may focus on surface water, overlooking the critical role of groundwater, which is crucial for sustainable water supply.
  • Conflicting Programs: Some state projects may not align with community and environmental interests, such as riverfront development or massive water grids.
  • Shift from Critical Engagement: Overemphasis on technical knowledge and problem-solving may overlook important socio-economic and ecological aspects related to water management.

Government Initiatives to Tackle India’s Water Crisis:

  • Amrit Sarovar Mission: Develop and rejuvenate 75 water bodies in each district to improve water storage and quality.
  • Atal Bhujal Yojana: Targeting water-stressed areas in certain states to manage groundwater demand through scientific means and community involvement.
  • Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA): Regulates and controls groundwater usage by industries and infrastructure projects, issuing NOCs for responsible water usage.
  • National Aquifer Mapping Program (NAQUIM): Maps aquifers in the country to facilitate informed interventions and management plans.
  • Master Plan for Artificial Recharge to Groundwater – 2020: Outlines the construction of Rain Water Harvesting and artificial recharge structures to promote water conservation and recharge.
  • Schematic illustrations for sustainable water resources management | Download Scientific Diagram


Way Forward:

  • Comprehensive and Sustainable Water Management:
  • Embrace holistic strategies that address both immediate needs and long-term challenges.
  • Community Engagement:
  • Foster meaningful involvement of local communities in water management decisions.
  • Investments in Infrastructure and Capacity-Building:
  • Prioritize funding for water infrastructure and capacity-building programs to enhance resilience.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation:
  • Establish robust frameworks to assess the effectiveness and impact of water management initiatives.
  • Responsible Groundwater Management:
  • Promote conservation practices to ensure water availability for future generations.


Q.1 Which one of the following ancient towns is well known for its elaborate system of water harvesting and management by building a series of dams and channelizing water into connected reservoirs? 

(a) Dholavira

(b) Kalibangan

(c) Rakhigarhi

(d) Ropar

Answer: (a)

Q.2 With reference to ‘Water Credit’, consider the following statements:

  1. It puts microfinance tools to work in the water and sanitation sector.
  2. It is a global initiative launched under the aegis of the World Health Organization and the World Bank.
  3. It aims to enable the poor people to meet their water needs without depending on subsidies.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (c)

Q.3 What are the salient features of the Jal Shakti Abhiyan launched by the Government of India for water conservation and water security?

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