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Water Governance

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  • Published
    8th Jun, 2021
  • India has only 4% of world’s renewable water resources. The average annual precipitation of 3,880 billion cubic meters (BCM) in India is highly variable, both in time and space. The utilizable water resources are about 1.122 BCM (690 BCM, or 61%, surface water and 432 BCM, or 39%, groundwater).
  • The water resources utilized are about 700 BCM (450 BCM of surface water and 250 BCM of groundwater). It is estimated that our annual requirement would be about 843 BCM in 2025 and 1,180 BCM in 2050.
  • About 78% of water utilized goes for agriculture; 8% goes towards domestic use; 6% is used for industry, and the remaining 8% goes towards other uses.
  • India’s per capita water availability is declining – it reduced from 1816 cubic meters in 2001 to 1545 cubic meters in 2011. We are already in a water stressed situation defined by per capita availability of less than 1700 cubic meters.
  • Following issues may arise for water governance:
  1. Making an adequate quantity of drinking water available to the people.
  2. Improving the low water-use efficiency in irrigation and industry.
  3. Tackling pollution of water bodies.
  4. Reuse and recycle.
  • The Jal Shakti Abhiyan (JSA), first launched in 2019, is a water conservation campaign, under which officers, groundwater experts, and scientists from the Government of India work together with State and district officials in India’s most water stressed districts for the targeted interventions. Community awareness and mobilization are at the core of the campaign.
  • The Jal Jivan Mission launched in 2019 aims to provide 55 liters of water per person per day to every rural household in the country by 2024, with a massive outlay of Rs. 3.60 lakh Crore.
  • The ‘Per Drop More Crop’ component of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) promotes water use efficiency through drip and irrigation. To provide impetus to micro-irrigation in the country, a Micro Irrigation Fund with a corpus of Rs. 5,000 Crore was created with NABARD during 2018-19, for the ‘Per Crop More Drop’ component.
  • ‘Sahi Fasal’ campaign of NWM is an initiative to nudge stakeholders in agriculture towards crops that use less water but more efficiently.


The activities under the National Water Mission, which aims to optimize water use efficiency by 20%, look to conserve water, minimize wastage and ensure more equitable distribution both across and within states with a special focus on recycling of wastewater.


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