Prime Minister Modi pitches for a collective effort to overcome water crisis in the country
Taking note of the looming water crisis in the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made three requests to the nation during his Mann Ki Baat radio address this past Sunday. He urged all Indians to create awareness on water shortage, share knowledge of traditional methods of water storage and share information about individuals and NGOs working on water conservation.
He emphasized that with the participation of people, the country would be able to find solutions to the growing water crisis.
Prime Minister Modi also requested listeners to share ideas regarding water conservation using the hashtag #JanShakti4JalShakti.
June witnesses 33 percent deficit in rainfall
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) reported overall rainfall of 112.1 mm in June, indicating a 33 percent rainfall deficit during the last month.
Records show that this is the fifth driest June for India in the past 100 years.
30 out of 36 meteorological subdivisions across India have reported deficient rainfall, with two subdivisions - west Uttar Pradesh and Haryana-Delhi - facing a large deficiency of over 60 percent. Experts have raised concerns that the overall monsoon rainfall from June to September may not reach the IMD’s forecast figure of 96 percent of the long-term average. Also, to reach the forecast level of 96 percent, monsoon rains will have to cross 102 percent each month from July to September.
Shimla, Udupi and Mangalore on the verge of day zero
Shimla, Udupi and Mangaluru are three Tier 2 towns witnessing an acute water crisis, mostly due to overuse of water. Shimla in Himachal Pradesh is a tourist hub which is facing a huge demand-supply gap because it attracts 10,000 visitors daily during the peak tourist season in summer. Udupi in coastal Karnataka, had been facing unprecedented water scarcity this year as the two main sources of water for the district have reached their dead storage limit. Also, with no inflow into the Netravati river, Mangaluru City Corporation has started water rationing since April.
Climate change to be the biggest challenge for one in five farmers: Survey
According to a survey conducted by rural media platform Gaon Connection, a massive 59 percent of farmers were unable to avail any kind of loan, often because of lack of proper information.
The survey was conducted among 18,000 rural respondents across 19 states, and found that as many as 62 percent of farmers wanted to decide the selling price of their produce, instead of the government deciding it.
The survey also noted that the biggest challenges faced by farmers were high debt, high input costs and unexpected weather conditions due to climate change. 41 percent of respondents also said that improving access to irrigation alone could address many of their problems.
Pune's Mula-Mutha river the second most polluted river in Maharashtra: Report
According to the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board's water quality assessment of eight major rivers in the state in 2018, the Mithi river in Mumbai is the most polluted in the state, followed by the Mula-Mutah river in Pune. The study has revealed that the faecal coliform content in the Mula-Mutha river is three times the safe limit while the biochemical oxygen demand is almost four times above the prescribed level. Despite the MPCB directions in January this year, to earmark Rs 32.7 lakh per day towards the cost of remediation of the river, no efforts have been taken by the Pune civic body towards the clean-up of the river.
This is a roundup of important news related to water from the past week. Also read policy matters this week.