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Jal Jeevan Mission can go a long way to promote springshed management and ensure source sustainability of spring based piped water supply.

Springs are the key source of water for rural households in Uttarakhand, yet they have seen an overall neglect over the decades with discharge from many springs declining bit by bit. The depletion of aquifers, changes in land use and ecological degradation have led to several initiatives to address springshed management in the state. We speak to Dr.

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Watershed work needs to be stepped up to ensure that the lockdown does not impact the livelihoods of the rural poor.

Over the last four decades, watershed management has emerged as one of the most decentralised, integrated, persisting, innovative and effective programs to enhance natural resources such as water, soil and the vegetative cover as well as to provide means of livelihood to marginalised sections in rural areas. However, with life currently in flux and ever changing because of COVID-19, this year watershed management stands in sharp contrast to previous years.

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The new policy needs to build context specificity and have enabling mechanisms for equitable resource allocation.

The way water as a resource has been viewed in the policies of India has evolved significantly over the years. Reduction in per capita availability over the years (5177 to 1463 cubic metres between 1950-2015) has forced every new policy to change the way it has approached its management. It was considered an economic commodity in the second National Water Policy (NWP) drafted in 2002. Finally in 2012, the third NWP recognized the importance of managing water as a “common-pool resource”.

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While water supply coverage has improved over the years in Maharashtra, why does safe and continuous water supply still remain a distant dream for the state?

Latur in Maharashtra has been facing acute drinking water scarcity over the last month and has been in news again, and that too, inspite of having piped water connections and a good monsoon this year!

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For Har Ghar Nal Ka Jal to succeed, the state needs to look at water harvesting to augment groundwater availability.

Water is a precious natural resource that ensures human well-being. However, across the globe there is a severe water crisis, which is heightened by issues of inaccessibility and contamination.

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How technology enables monitoring and evaluation, or comparative analysis of developmental data from village to state level.

Developments in geographical information systems (GIS) in India, both in policy and law, have thus far empowered to a greater extent government and business at national and regional level. The real challenge in this sector is to extend this technology to local communities for self-governance and to enable them to participate on an equal footing in regional and national development.

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News this week

World Water Development Report 2020: Tropical countries to be worst hit by water stress

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How much water do we consume directly and indirectly?

Climate change and water scarcity in India

The world is today facing an unprecedented water crisis, both in access and availability. Cape Town in South Africa reached ‘day zero’ water status in 2018. India, according to the NITI Aayog, is facing the worst water crisis in its history, with an estimated 600 million people having to deal with high to extreme water scarcity.

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The recent COVID -19 pandemic highlights the important role that access to clean water can play in dealing with such diseases in the future.

This month has been seeing a different kind of a scare world over, that of the deadly corona virus pandemic that has been spreading rapidly, infecting people and leading to a rising number of deaths in numerous countries. India too is in the line of fire with the total number of active COVID-2019 cases reaching 223 as on 20th March 2020.

The growing threat of the corona virus

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What can be learnt from past experiences on scaling up coverage of piped water supply?

Efforts are underway by both state and central governments to improve access to safe and adequate drinking water to people, and nationally, as on 31 December 2018, 79% of rural habitations had been covered at 40 litres per capita per day (lpcd) but only 47% at 55 lpcd. Yet, in spite of the big push towards piped water supply in rural areas, the coverage continued to be poor.

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