Jal Shakti Abhiyan
8th Jun, 2021
- Water is the most essential requirement of life. Assured availability of potable water is vital for human development.
- The Department of Drinking Water & Sanitation, Ministry of Jal Shakti on July 1, 2019 launched Jal Shakti Abhiyan (JSA), in coordination with States/UTs, as a time-bound campaign in 256 districts covering 1,562 blocks that were classified as water-stressed.
- Out of these districts, 23 are aspirational districts identified by NITI Aayog.
- In parallel, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development identified 756 local bodies in urban areas for carrying out the activities under the Abhiyan.
Items for box
- India is home to 18% of the global human population and 15% of the global livestock population.
- However, it has only 2% landmass and 4% of global freshwater resources.
- As per estimates in 1951, per capita annual freshwater availability was 5,177 cubic meters which came down to 1,545 cubic meters in 2011.
- It is estimated that in 2019, it is about 1,368 cubic meters which is likely to further go down to 1,293 cubic meters in 2025.
- If the present trend continues, in 2050, freshwater availability is likely to decline to 1,140 cubic meters.
Intervention Areas (across various ministries)
- Under this campaign, targeted activities were undertaken under five key areas of interventions namely:
- Water conservation and rainwater harvesting;
- Renovation of traditional and other water bodies/ tanks;
- Reuse and recharge structures;
- Watershed development; and
- Intensive afforestation.
- Special interventions: preparation of district and block-level water-conservation plans, Krishi Vigyan Kendra Meals, urban wastewater re-use, preparation of 3D village contour maps.
- There was no separate fund allocation for the campaign. The funds allocated under various regular schemes were utilized at the district level.
Outputs and outcomes
Outcomes were assessed under four activities:
- Increase in the groundwater level
- Increase in the surface water storage capacity
- Increase in the soil moisture in farmlands
- Increase in the area covered with plantation and number of saplings planted
Post Jal Shakti Abhiyan – Way Forward
It is essential to consolidate the gains of the campaign by undertaking the following activities:
- The digital inventory of all the water bodies/resources should be completed and shared with all stake-holding departments and their headquarters.
- The list of water bodies that were renovated, rejuvenated, or the ones in which encroachments were removed should be documented and recorded in the revenue records.
- Such water bodies should be linked to people’s livelihood so that the people’s economic interests can protect them.
- Encourage social water bodies policing (volunteer Jal Rakshaks) for the sustenance of restored water bodies using the services of college and senior secondary students, volunteers, NGOs, etc.
- Survival of plantations has to be monitored periodically so that the original number is maintained.
- Capacity building of farmers on water conservation should go on simultaneously. The main focus should involve the usage of micro-irrigation for water-guzzling plants.
- The Government building should mandatorily include rainwater harvesting structures.
- Create a dedicated JSA cell at the district level post Abhiyan period to complete the follow-up activities under the Jal Shakti Abhiyan.