Groundwater Current Affairs - 2020

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Atal Bhujal Yojana: GoI and World Bank signed loan agreement of 450 million USD

On February 17, 2020, the World Bank and the Government of India signed a loan agreement to support the national programme that aims on strengthening ground water institutions and also arrest the depletion of ground water resources.

Highlights

The project supported by the World Bank called the “National Ground Water Management Improvement Programme” is to be implemented in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Haryana. The programme is to cover 78 districts. The districts were selected based on degree of ground water depletion, degradation and exploitation of groundwater, institutional readiness in implementing initiatives related to management of groundwater. The states were selected as they span hard rock aquifers that are present in peninsular India and alluvial aquifers that are found in Indo-Gangetic Plains.

Key Features of the Programme

The Programme is also called Atal Bhujal Yojana. It is a centrally sponsored scheme. Under the scheme the World Bank will provide Rs 6,000 crores for sustainable management of groundwater. The scheme is implemented by the Ministry of Jal Shakti.

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Ground Water Act, 2020 approved by UP cabinet

On February 11, 2020, the Uttar Pradesh Cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath approved Ground Water Act-2020. The act aims to improve ground water level.

Key Features of the act

The act makes the registration of submersible pumps mandatory. The farmers and domestic users need not pay fees to use the pumps. The act makes rain water harvesting mandatory in all private schools, colleges.

It also penalizes persons polluting ground water through boring pipes. Also, it is mandatory for the boring companies to register under the act. The companies have to update their information every three months.

Ground Water in India

It is essential to monitor the ground water activities in India. This is important because, according to Parliament Committee Report, 2016 around 9 states in India has used 90% of their ground water without leaving a chance of recharging. Also, the increase in presence of metallic elements such as Arsenic, Uranium, Iron is increasing.

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