Model Groundwater Bill lays responsibility for protecting the resource from contamination primarily with the states concerned - Roundup of the week’s news (March 11- March 17, 2013)

The roundup this week includes news on the formulation of the model bill for groundwater development in India,

the drought situation in Maharashtra, the traditional rainwater harvesting system in Rajasthan. Besides this, the news also includes reports on the campaign to save the Loktak lake in Assam and mangroves in Sundarbans, the water supply schemes in Kerala and the dropping of groundwater levels in India

New bill to control groundwater exploitation

Ministry of Water Resources has formulated a Model Bill to regulate and control groundwater development and management in the country. The responsibility to protect ground water from contamination lies primarily with the States concerned. For protection of ground water from contamination, the government has taken various steps including constitution of Water Quality Assessment Authority (WQAA).

Drought scenario in Maharashtra

Geographically, one-third of Maharashtra is facing drought in varying degrees. The scale is gigantic with the drought affecting 2,00,00,000 people in 11,801 villages. The prevailing drought will further affect the sugarcane availability for the 2013-14 season and the fresh planting. Farmers face parched fields while taps in towns have already run dry though summer is still two months away. However the Chief Minister assures of drinking water to the affected people.

Recharging groundwater by ‘Chaukh’ in Laporia, Rajasthan

An ingenious method of rain water harvesting has made Laporia, a small village near Jaipur drought proof and poverty free. The 'Chaukh' method uses bunds, channels and pits in a checker board pattern, to slow down water flow and increase moisture content.

Locals campaign to save Loktak lake in Assam

Fishermen and people residing around Loktak lake, Assam, carry out a campaign to save one of the biggest freshwater lakes in Asia. Sit in protests were also held by the fishermen and speakers urged the government to check the activities of the National Hydro Power Corporation which threaten to destroy the lake as it has constructed a dam.

Mangrove saviours in Sunderbans

Groups of women get together to plant mangrove trees in Sunderban area, West Bengal, to create green embankments that would prove crucial not just to their survival but of their ecosystem as well. They have have taken on the responsibility of saving their rapidly eroding coastline.

Water supply schemes worth Rs 5000 crores in Kerala

Kerala to implement water supply schemes for Rs 5000 crore in the state, taking care of the water needs of 50 percent people, says water resources minister. The state also issued strict norms to ensure safe drinking water, in the wake of severe water shortage. Now it is mandatory for tanker lorries to possess a Food Business Operator (FBO) license.

Infographic on water status in India

A visual narrative on depletion of water sources in India between 1990-2010, shows that groundwater levels have dropped at a rate of one meter per year.

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