NATIONAL WATER COMMISSION
● India is endowed with a rich and vast diversity of natural resources, water being one of them
● Its development and management plays a vital role in agriculture production
● Integrated water management is vital for poverty reduction, environmental sustainable economic development
The Government of India had set up several special groups to come up with a paradigm shift in water management in last few years.
A committee headed by MIHIR SHAH was one such committee.
The committee on restructuring the CENTRAL WATER COMMISSION AND CENTRAL GROUNDWATER BOARD in its final report has recommended a New national water commission be established as the Nation’s open facilitation organization dealing with water policy, data and governance.
WHAT’S THE MAIN CONCERN?
water tables are getting depleted in most most parts of India, If the current pattern of water usage continues, about half of demand for water will be unmet by 2030, besides contamination of fluoride , arsenic, mercury & even uranium is another major challenge
TO TACKLE THESE CHALLENGES, MIHIR SHAH COMMITTEE SET UP BY THE MINISTRY OF WATER RESOURCES HAS RECOMMENDED SETTING UP A NATIONAL WATER COMMISSION
CHALLENGES IN WATER MANAGEMENT:
1. today the challenge is to effectively utilize the dams, as the water that lies stored in our dams is not reaching the farmers for whom it is meant
2. ground water, which truly powered the green revolution faces a crisis of sustainability
3. Nearly half of India’s farmlands are un-irrigated and groundwater is the major source of water for irrigated holdings
4. Climate change poses fresh challenges as more extreme rates of precipitation and evapo-transpiration exacerbate impacts of floods and droughts
5. The gap between irrigation potential created and utilisation “is growing by the year”
HIGHLIGHTS OF NATIONAL WATER COMMISSION-
● more emphasis is being given to judicious use , and conservation of groundwater
● A large number of sewage treatment plants, being built as part of clean ganga initiative will provide a new source of water that is fit for industrial use, irrigation and many other purposes
● The river rejuvenation plans, not just of ganga but others as well, will become an integral part of overall water resources management
● Allocation of water resources to each state is planned to brought in, this is aimed at reducing inter-state water disputes, report recommended that NWC be headed by a chief national water commission
● Other full time commissioners representing Hydrology, Hydrogeology, Hydrometeorology, river ecology, ecological economics, agronomy and participatory resource planning and management
● Eight divisions of the NWC, which include irrigation reform, river rejuvenation, participatory groundwater management, urban and industrial water, water security and water security and water quality.
THE NEED FOR NATIONAL WATER COMMISSION:
1. government is in the process of completed restructuring of the organisations responsible for regulating the use of water resources, with the objective of bringing in greater efficiency, better planning and increased emphasis on conservation of water
2. This is to ensure that all water resources in the country are managed in a holistic manner and not separately as surface water, groundwater or river water
3. Adequate attention had not been given to management of groundwater till now, leading to indiscriminate pumping of groundwater despite elaborate irrigation projects, about 60 percent of irrigation during the non-rainy season is still done by pumping out groundwater
4. Paradigm shift was required in both surface and groundwater management policies to face new national challenges
5. It was crucial to create irrigation capacity to ensure food self-sufficiency
6. Maharashtra has 40% of the country’s large dams, but 82% area of the state is rain-fed
7. Need to unify CWC and CGWB arises because of drying up of India’s peninsular rivers, the most important cause of which is over-extraction of groundwater
AIM AND WORKING OF NMC:
- NMC will unify central water commission and central ground water board and ensure all water related activities in sync with each other
- River basin as a unit of planning – Given the integral link between aquifers, groundwater and river flows, it is important that planning for water management is done at the level of river basin itself
- will follow a participatory approach where local communities will have a decisive role in allocation and use of water in their areas
- industries to declare water footprint
It is time to take multidisciplinary view of water and this requires professionals from disciplines other than just engineering and hydrogeology We need to adopt the participatory approach to water management that has been successfully tried all over the world, as also in madhyapradesh , Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh
Focusing on river basins which must form the fundamental units for management of water
The national water commission should be a knowledge institution providing solutions to water problems faced by state governments, farmers and other stakeholders on demand, in a truly user-friendly manner.
WATER IS THE DRIVING FORCE OF ALL NATURE.