Water Conservation Current Affairs

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Kerala Government launches Haritha Keralam Mission

Kerala Government has launched Haritha Keralam Mission, a comprehensive programme for creating new sustainable development perspectives in the state.

It was launched by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in the state capital Thiruvananthapuram. Singer K.J. Yesudas and actor Manju Warrier are the mission ambassador.

Key Facts
  • The Haritha Keralam Mission is multidimensional development project focuses on water conservation, sanitation, environmental protection, and paddy cultivation.
  • It aims to clear and remove waste from all water bodies in the state, ensure disposal of solid waste and removal of waste water and increase the area of land under cultivation
  • It is a comprehensive program for creating new sustainable development perspectives in the state by maximum utilization of opportunities through waste management, water resources and agricultural development using organic farming.
  • This is the first of the four mega missions planned by the LDF government. The health, housing and education missions will be launched subsequently.

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Dr. B R Ambedkar’s birth anniversary will be observed as Water Day

The Union Government is going to observe birth anniversary of the father of Indian Constitution B R Ambedkar (April 14) as “Water Day” in the country.

It was announced by Union Minister for Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti in New Delhi. She made this announcement while addressing a National Seminar on Marching ahead on Dr. Ambedkar’s path of water resources management for inclusive growth. It was organized by Central Water Commission (CWC) in New Delhi.

What is purpose?

The idea behind observing Water Day on birth anniversary of Dr. Ambedkar is to sensitise people about managing precious water resources. It will also spread awareness about work of Dr. Ambedkar who was also responsible for a definite all-India policy on managing water resources in India besides being instrumental in framing the country’s Constitution.

Background

The CWC paper (Ambedkar’s contribution to water resources development) released on the occasion of the Dr. Ambedkar’s 125th birth anniversary in April 2016 mentions that he was a pioneer in the field of developing multi-purpose projects for independent India. In fact, he was the moving spirit behind the Damodar Valley, Hirakud and other projects. He had helped in evolving a new water and power policy during 1942-46 to utilise the water resources of the country to the best advantage of everybody.

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Industries should use recycled groundwater: Water Ministry

The Union Water Ministry is planning to impose restrictions on how industries, farmers and various groups can use groundwater by amending to a Bill on groundwater management.

It was announced by the Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti at a seminar organised by the Central Groundwater Board in New Delhi.

Earlier in 2016, the Water Ministry had made public a draft Bill that proposed significant changes to the way groundwater will be regulated.

Key provisions

  • The bill seeks to sharply regulate extracting pristine water from aquifiers which is currently the norm in much of the country. Failing to adhere it will invite stringent punishment.
  • It seeks to guarantee every individual a certain amount of water “for life” and protecting groundwater from undue exploitation and pollution.
  • Industries can only use recycled water, and activities such as gardening must use treated sewage water. It also mandates the use of rainwater harvesting in residential projects.

However, this new version of the Bill does not compel companies and other stakeholders to use recycled water. It only demands t users “give priority” to recycling water.

What is the issue?

Groundwater depletion is among the grave ecological threats that the country faces. It has become serious concern to use groundwater judiciously. The groundwater is source to around 85 % of drinking water and 65% of water for irrigation. However, water being State subject in the seventh schedule of constitution has stalled previous plans to address the problems. Even existing laws give the owners of a piece of land complete right over its groundwater.

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