Economic Survey calls for shifting focus to water productivity
(4th July, 2019)
The Economic Survey 2018-19 has said as far as agriculture is concerned, the country should shift its focus from land productivity to irrigation water productivity and on devising policies to incentivise farmers to adopt efficient ways of water use.
This should become a national priority to avert a looming water crisis.
Agriculture remains the predominant occupation in terms of number of people employed. Also, agriculture is dependent highly on water. So, appropriate mechanism needs to be framed for economical use of water among small and marginal farmers, said the Survey.
“The cropping pattern in India is highly skewed towards crops that are water-intensive. The incentive structures like minimum support price, heavily subsidised electricity, water and fertilizers have played a significant role in the misalignment of crop patterns in the country,” said the Survey, adding that the water guzzlers, paddy and sugarcane, consume more than 60% of irrigation water available in the country, reducing water availability for other crops.
The survey said States such as Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, which have high land productivity, tend to have very low irrigation water productivity, reflecting inefficient use of water and the need to re-calibrate cropping pattern.
“Adopting improved methods of irrigation and irrigation technologies will have a critical role in increasing irrigation water productivity,” it said.
Source: The Hindu
Thirsty Indian cities have more management problems than water problems
(4th July, 2019)
Between December and June the largest reservoir supplying Chennai, India’s sixth-biggest city, shrivelled and then vanished. From the window of a plane, darker patches suggest Puzhal Lake still holds some water. Close up, the “water” turns out to be just a different shade of mud.
Puzhal is indeed “bone dry”, says T. Prabhushankar, the head of Chennai’s water board, and so are three more lakes that are the other main sources of water for the city’s 8m people. In his air-conditioned office a computer screen indicates that the city’s reservoirs, which have a total capacity of 11bn cubic feet, contain a minuscule 25m cubic feet. “There is nothing to hide about it,” he shrugs. “There has been no rain for 190 days, so there is no water.” Yet Mr Prabhushankar is not worried. Not only does he expect to get through the current dry spell—Chennai’s worst since 2004—he also insists that, for the city, water scarcity will soon be a thing of the past.
Source: The Economist
48 local bodies will drive Waste Management in Kerala
(1st July, 2019)
The State-Level Monitoring Committee appointed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has approved a government proposal recommending development of 48 local bodies in the State as model civic bodies for effective solid waste management.
The directive was issue as a follow-up of the NGT order dated April 25 which highlighted the need to have successful models for management of municipal solid waste, plastic, biomedical waste and other waste across the country.
Local bodies: The local bodies in the State that will be developed as successful models within a period of six months to one year include Thiruvananthapuram, Thrissur, and Kozhikode Corporations. Attingal, Punalur, and Kunnamkulam municipalities.
Villages: Karakulam, Poovachal, Parassala (Thiruvananthapuram); Kadakkal, Chavara, Perinad (Kollam); Kulanada, Aranmula, Thumpamon (Pathanamthitta); Aaryad, Mararikulam North, Thamarakkulam (Alappuzha); Moonnilavu, Kadaplamattom, Poonjar (Kottayam); Adimali, Nedumkandam, Kumily (Idukki); Pampakuda, Chottanikara, Kalady (Ernakulam); Manalur, Parappukkara, Peringanam (Thrissur); Muthuthala, Sreekrishnapuram, Vellinezhi (Palakkad); Marancherry, Chaliyar, Thuvvur (Malappuram); Kunnummel, Kuttiyadi, Meppayur (Kozhikode); Meenangadi, Muttil, Vythiri (Wayanad); Pariyaram, Padiyur, Udayagiri (Kannur); Kinanoor, Bediadukka, Madikkal (Kasaragod).
The NGT had observed in its order that many States were yet to comply with the provisions of the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016, despite several earlier directives. It had recommended that States can adopt successful models available in some regions and come with a time-bound action plan.
The model local bodies identified in the State have to ensure door-to-door collection of segregated waste from all households. The transportation of waste to processing or disposal facilities should be done only in covered vehicles. It should ensure source segregation of waste into biodegradable, non-biodegradable and domestic hazardous waste.
The model local bodies will have to install segregated litter bins in commercial and public areas at every 50-100 metres. There should be separate space for segregation, storage, decentralised processing of solid waste. The civic bodies should set up material recovery facilities under its jurisdiction.
It should establish common ore regional sanitary landfills, besides implementing scientific systems to treat legacy waste. There should separate storage, collection and transportation of construction and demolition waste. The local bodies will have to ensure zero plastic in public spaces and evolve a mechanism for collection, storage and disposal of plastic waste. The model civic bodies must ensure systems and introduce measures to check rampant pollution of water bodies including rivers and lakes.
Source: The Hindu
Mergers are happening to combat water crisis in India
(1st july , 2019)
The Japan International Cooperation Agency signed an agreement to provide a $283 million loan for the construction of Chennai’s fourth seawater desalination plant. The Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board will help to execute the 400,000 m3/day project. The project will help bridge water supply and demand in the area: in 2015, water demand in the CMA was over 850,000 m3/day, while average water supply was around 620 m3/day.
Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation reformed
(1st july, 2019)
Inspired by the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s impetus on Jal Sanchay, the Jal Shakti Abhiyan (JSA) is a time-bound, mission-mode water conservation campaign. The JSA will run in two Phases: Phase 1 from 1st July to 15th September 2019 for all States and Union Territories; and Phase 2 from 1st October to 30th November for States and UTs receiving the retreating monsoon (Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Puducherry and Tamil Nadu). During the campaign, officers, groundwater experts and scientists from the Government of India will work together with State and district officials in India’s most water-stressed districts for water conservation and water resource management by focusing on accelerated implementation of five target intervention. The JSA aims at making water conservation a jan andolan through asset creation and communication campaign.
Source: Ministry of Jal Shakti