In a countrywide effort to enhance water security, especially in water stressed districts, the Centre initiated Jal Shakti Abhiyan (JSA) has reported over 3.5 lakh water conservation measures in 256 districts have been taken up. Out of these, 1.54 lakh are water conservation and rain water harvesting measures, 20,000 relate to the rejuvenation of traditional water bodies, over 65,000 are reuse and recharge structures and 1.23 lakh are watershed development projects. An estimated 2.64 crore people have already participated in the Abhiyan and about 4.25 crore saplings were planted too. The outcome of the first phase of the Jal Shakti Abhiyan was announced at a review by Cabinet Secretary in New Delhi. (PIB)
India ranked 13th in list of most water-stressed country in the world
The World Resources Institute has released the Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas, which revealed that 17 countries in the world face extremely high water stress. While Qatar tops the Aqueduct's list of extremely high water stressed countries, India is ranked 13th on the list. Using a global hydrological model, the Atlas has ranked water stress, drought risk, and riverine flood risk across 189 countries and their sub-national regions, like states and provinces.
As per the report, in an average year, agriculture, industry, and municipalities are drinking up 80 percent of the available surface and groundwater in the 17 countries facing extremely high water stress.
Is Bengaluru heading towards Day Zero?
In this informative deep dive into Bangalore's worsening water crisis, LiveMint rounds up opinions and perspectives from many of the city's well known water experts. From increasingly erratic municipal water supply to the proliferation of borewells that have increased groundwater extraction, leading to massive over exploitation and falling water tables, Bangalore city is headed down a worrying path. But the city and its residents are proving that where there is a will, there is way. (LiveMint)
Water scarcity poses serious challenge to Asia's economy and growth
The recent water crisis in Chennai has many lessons for other cities in Asia. It has also illustrated, perhaps more clearly than ever, that water scarcity will soon be a major barrier to industrial globalisation in Asia.
"Put simply, water scarcity may soon be as important as supplies of cheap labor in shaping the direction of Asia's next stage of globalization -- and it will do so in ways that damage both India's prospects and those of other, poorer nations around the region."
Natural scarcity and bureaucratic incompetence are both responsible for Chennai's water woes. However measures like water metering, rainwater harvesting and wastewater reuse can make a big difference. James Crabtree takes an in depth look at what Chennai's water crisis could possibly mean for Asia as a whole. (Nikkei Asian Review)
Kerala suffers sharp dip in rainfall this year
While Maharashtra, Odisha and Karnataka are battling floods, Kerala on the other hand is experiencing a 32% deficit in rainfall this year. It has been nearly two months since the southwest monsoon set in, but the state’s reservoirs have less than 20% storage. According to scientists, changes in wind flow patterns and Cyclone Vayu have resulted in diversion of monsoon clouds from Kerala to Central India. Kerala needs continuous rainfall in the next two months, in order to avert a serious water crisis next summer. (The New Indian Express)
This is a roundup of important news published between July 31 - August 6, 2019. Also read policy matters this week.