Groundwater

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January 17, 2021 Last year was shrouded with a myriad of disasters but all was not bad. There were many success stories and great efforts in the water sector that maintained our hopes for a better tomorrow.
All was not negative for 2020 in the water sector as many states and districts gained credit for themselves (Image Source: IWP Flickr Album)
November 8, 2020 The National Hydrology Project has created a national platform for water data and is working to enhance the technical capacities of agencies dealing with water resources management.
Breakthrough cloud computing facilities and remote sensing applications have helped showthe filling pattern of a water body (tank or reservoir) through freely available satellite imagery at an interval of five days.  (Image: Maithan dam, Wikimedia Commons)
December 18, 2019 A study from Gujarat finds that micro-irrigation combined with metered power led to a reduction in uncontrolled groundwater extraction by farmers.
Micro-irrigation and its impact on groundwater (Image Source: India Water Portal)
December 13, 2019 A study highlights the need to scale down the export of rice, maize, buffalo meat and other items to conserve groundwater in India.
A farmer uses a hosepipe to irrigate crops at her farm in Nilgiris mountains, Tamil Nadu (Image: Hamish John Appleby for IWMI, Flickr Commons, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
December 11, 2019 Policy matters this week
Polythene bags and solid waste left behind as water recedes in the Ganga river. (Source: India Water Portal on Flickr)
Water levels in major reservoirs maximum in last 13 years: CWC
News this week Swati Bansal posted 8 months ago

Water storage level 76 percent more than last year: CWC

Narmada river in Madhya Pradesh (Source: IWP Flickr photos)
Horticulture pile-up, yet farmers stare at losses in Kachchh
Robust arid region horticulture in the water-scarce arid region of Kachchh, but without improved value-addition for increased shelf-life, farmers faced with a crisis. Amita Bhaduri posted 8 months ago

Kachchh: A desert oasis under peril

Date palm plantation in Kachchh (Image: Prayaas: The Movement of Grassroot Changes)
Community economies - Reconstructing rural economy with ecological sustainability and ethics of equity
Collective management, participation and equity are the foundations on which community economies are sustained. Amita Bhaduri posted 8 months 1 week ago

The exodus of migrant workers from urban areas back to their villages in the wake of country wide lockdown has brought rural poverty into sharp focus. Reconstruction of rural economy therefore needs policy and planning attention.

Johads in Nanduwali nadi region (Image: Farhad Contractor, IWP Flickr)
Village institutions take a lead in Covid-19 response
Institutions are a key arsenal in rural India's pandemic fight. Amita Bhaduri posted 8 months 1 week ago

Covid-19 will have major implications in rural areas where the Foundation for Ecological Security (FES), a non-profit organisation has been working towards conservation of natural resources through collective action of local communities.

In the light of disrupted food supply systems, especially for fresh produce, the village institution arranged for harvesting and sale of produce. (Image: FES)
Facing up to the water crisis
Conservation measures such as rainwater harvesting and recharging of groundwater need to be generally well established in both rural and urban areas. Amita Bhaduri posted 8 months 3 weeks ago

The conventional freshwater sources available in India are being currently overexploited, leading to widespread environmental degradation and depletion of freshwater resources especially groundwater. To sustain the needs of an increasing population and ecology, our consumption of water far exceeds the rate at which we are recharging water sources.

Water conservation measures invariably have a positive effect on water quality and the environment (Image: Joel Bassuk / Oxfam; Flickr Commons, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Springing back to life
Jal Jeevan Mission can go a long way to promote springshed management and ensure source sustainability of spring based piped water supply. Amita Bhaduri posted 8 months 3 weeks ago

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.

Image: Flickr Commons
Covid-19: Implications for watershed management
Watershed work needs to be stepped up to ensure that the lockdown does not impact the livelihoods of the rural poor. Amita Bhaduri posted 9 months ago

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.

COVID-19 has adversely affected this year's watershed management work (Image: ILO South Asia-Pacific; Flickr Commons, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
From policy to practice: Can National Water Policy 2020 bridge the gap?
The new policy needs to build context specificity and have enabling mechanisms for equitable resource allocation. Amita Bhaduri posted 9 months ago

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.

Women extracting water from the riverbed, Gaya (Image: ICIMOD/ Prasanta Biswas; Flickr Commons)
Clean drinking water: Still a pipe dream for Maharashtra?
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? aartikelkar posted 9 months 2 weeks ago

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!

Har nal me jal, a pipe dream? (Image Source: IWP Flickr Photos)
Community-led piped water supply initiative in Bihar
For Har Ghar Nal Ka Jal to succeed, the state needs to look at water harvesting to augment groundwater availability. Amita Bhaduri posted 9 months 2 weeks ago

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.

The community at the ward level of the panchayat is supposed to have complete ownership of the system created. (Image: GG Vogman, Flickr Commons, CC BY-NC 2.0)