Sanjay Kumar,May 11:
Severe spatial and temporal variations in rainfall has prompted the creation of storages be given due priority with the overall plan for water resources development. The successive Five year plans initiated after
Realizing the importance of quick completion of ongoing projects for creation of more storages, the Government has already launched the Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme (AIBP) during 1996-97 to provide Central Loan Assistance (CLA) for accelerating implementation of ongoing irrigation/multi-purpose projects on which substantial progress has been made and which are beyond the resources capability of the States. Apart from creation of storage projects, repair, renovation and restoration of old water bodies as well as ground water development needs to be expeditiously pursued in an integrated manner.
Highly intensive development of ground water in certain areas in the country has resulted in over exploitation leading to decline in the levels of ground water and sea water intrusion in coastal areas. The strategy for the XI Five Year Plan, therefore, recommends a two-pronged approach for ground water: (a) Promotion of ground water development in areas having untapped/unutilized potential and (b) comprehensive act for regulation of ground water development on sustainable basis
Improving Water Use Efficiency
Improvement in water use efficiency is increasingly perceived to be a very important strategy for mitigating the gap between creation and utilization. This is even more relevant in case of irrigation sector since a small improvement in the efficiency can lead to considerable saving of water that can be utilized for catering to the demand from other sectors.
Some of the management practices that needs to be taken up in right earnest are:
·Bridging the gap between irrigation potential created and utilized;
· Implementation of restructured CADWM programme in States;
· Participatory Approach in Irrigation Management (PIM);
· Modernization of irrigation system and performance improvement;
· Rationalization of water rates;
·Benchmarking of irrigation systems;
· Conjunctive use of surface and ground water and
· On farm management by reducing application losses, precision land levelling and irrigation scheduling /deficit irrigation.
Domestic, Industrial and Other Sectors
With population growth, rise in urbanization and non-uniform water availability, the domestic water supply particularly in the large urban centers, of late, has been an issue of immense concern. Under such circumstances the adoption of water conservation measures, augmentation of water supply through creation of storages and demand management has assumed significant importance. To improve the efficiencies in domestic sector various measures such as water audits, mass awareness programmes, water pricing, proper maintenance and improvement in supply, control on leakages, prevention of un-accounted use of water, etc. has to be adopted.
Some of the action points towards water conservation for improving efficiency in industrial sector could be setting up of norms for water budgeting, modernization of industrial process to reduce water requirement, recycling water for cooling purposes, rational pricing of industrial water to compel adoption of water saving technologies, proper treatment of effluents and use of treated water by industrial units.
Another major consumer of water is the energy sector. The water requirement in the power sector are mainly met from the surface water resources. Recycling of water in pump storage plants would conserve water and should be encouraged, wherever feasible, for generation of peaking power. The other miscellaneous water requirements are for recreation, navigation etc., most of which are non-consumptive.
For catering to multi-sectoral water demand, the need for optimum and judicious utilization of the available land and water resources through integrated water resources management (IWRM) is of utmost significance. IWRM in consultation with and with participation of all stakeholders would ensure speedy realization of the object of adequacy of water supplies in requisite quantity and quality.