India set to become water scarce in 10 years

India set to become water scarce in 10 years time: Govt tells Parliament

Citing a recent study, Minister of State for Water Resources Sanwar Lal Jat, said that India's demand for water is expected to exceed all current sources of supply and become water scarce by the 2025. According to him, the average annual water availability for the country, as assessed by the Central Water Commission, is 1,869-billion cubic metres (BCM) while the estimated utilisable water is 1,123 BCM. He noted that several steps for augmentation, conservation and efficient management of water resources have been undertaken by state governments, and said that the Centre is also supplementing their efforts.

Doomed by the Mapithel dam 

Construction of the multi-purpose Mapithel dam of the Thoubal multi-purpose project in Phayang, Manipur, spells doom for nearly 12,000 people in 11 villages whose homes will be lost forever, even as this 'positive' development is projected to benefit the very same people. Along with the villages, the water level rise will also submerge fertile paddy fields, forest land and historical relics like some of Manipur's oldest churches. 

Lake conservation efforts in Bengaluru hampered 

Lakes, once the pride of Bengaluru, are in dire need of rejuvenation as only five of the 38 lakes under the Palike’s possession are in good condition. In fact, the BBMP has no funds to even take over and maintain the 12 lakes revived by the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA). Conservation efforts have been further hampered as multiple government agencies are involved in the task. Enviromentalists too are crying foul over recreational activities such as boating that are being conducted on revived waterbodies.

Monsoon fury in Manipur and Bengal

Manipur faces a grim flood situation following heavy rainfall. The rising river levels have flooded fields, submerged or destroyed bridges and left people stranded. Per reports, a large number of fish farms have been washed away and the Sugnu-Serou Lamkhai road has been flooded up to shoulder level. Flooding of farmlands, towns and villages were reported from several districts of South Bengal with heavy downpour occurring in Gangetic West Bengal. About 1.19 lakh people took shelter in relief camps in 12 districts as the situation worsened.

Bharathapuzha river rejuvenation receives a sanction of Rs 77 crore

The Bharathapuzha river that flows though 3 districts of Kerala and covers a distance of 209 km has been sanctioned Rs 76.79 crore over a period of five years for its rejuvenation and revival. The funds sanctioned are a part of the Pradhan Manthri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY), where 75% funds are from the Centre and the remainder from the State Government. 

This is a roundup of important news from July 28 - August 3, 2015. Also read last week's policy matters updates.