Groundwater Depletion Current Affairs - 2020

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.

India-Netherland: “Water 4 change”, an urban water management system

The Centre for Water Resources Development and Management (CWRDM), operating under the Government of Kerala has launched the “Water 4 Change”. Under the project, six prominent institutions from Netherlands will perform a long-term research and field level action on urban water management systems along with Indian scientists.

Highlights

The project will bring solutions for water problems in the cities of Kozhikode, Shimla, Bhuj and Bhopal. The project will address issues related to sanitary engineering, governance, urban planning, ecology, hydrology and economics in water handling.

CWRDM

The CWRDM was established by the Government of Kerala to cater the needs of research and development in water management of the state. The institution deals with environmental issues, drainage issues, water quality management and wet land management in the state

Kerala water resources

The state of Kerala being fed by the South West Monsoon is rich in water. There are around 44 rivers in the state. The average rainfall of the state is 3000 mm. However, due to poor water management the state faces water scarcity in certain regions.

The forest cover in the state was 50% in 1900. It has now depleted to 27% in 2018. Several districts in Kerala are facing water scarcity. It includes Kozhikode, Thiruvanathapuram. Also, the state fails to save water during the flooding season (June-September).