The year 2020 came with numerous disasters, not just COVID-19, a pandemic that brought the planet to a standstill, but many other natural calamities. During the year, the country suffered from cyclones, extreme rainfall, floods and locust attacks.
“What should I do? I have been bedridden for two years now. My hands and feet do not work.
For a long time, villagers of Thanakasoga in Sirmaur, Himachal Pradesh knew about the depletion of their drinking water sources and the thirstier future they faced. “We depend on bawdis and natural springs, from where we fetched water. By 2012, our springs were dying and could hardly cater to the local demand.
Severe fine for misuse or wastage of groundwater
In support of the Digital India Initiative, the National Hydrology Project (NHP) is translating the Ministry of Jal Shakti (MoJS), Government of India’s (GoI) vision to create a “one water, one data platform” for the country.
Water, a scarce natural resource fundamental to life, livelihood, food security and sustainable development is required in every sector i.e. domestic, agricultural, industrial and environmental. Its source is precipitation, the usual forms being rainfall, snowfall etc. These in turn build surface and groundwater resources in the form of rivers, lakes, ponds, glaciers, groundwater etc.
A few of us did an exercise where we closed our eyes and thought of the first four words that came to our minds when we thought of water data in India. Here is what we came up with:
India is fortunate to have a rich tradition of public data collection and compilation.
In Kerala, around half the urban population and 80% of the rural population depend on open wells on their domestic water needs. But in the last decade, the majority of observatory wells recorded an average annual decline of half a meter.