ANSWER: National Groundwater Management Improvement Scheme
Facing a sharp decline in groundwater levels in different parts of the country due to over exploitation of existing resources, Centre has proposed an INR 6000 crore scheme called NGIS backed by the World Bank.
WB will support half of the total cost of the scheme, while the remaining half will be funded through budgetary support by the government.
World Bank will approve the funding for the scheme soon. Funds under NGMIS will be used for capacity building, institutional reforms and infrastructure development.
Features of NGMIS
- Infrastructure development includes building recharge structure\facilities for utilising rain water directly from roof top, creating rain water harvesting structures for conserving surplus run-off and recharging ground water in aquifers.
- Scheme would be meant for "sustainable management of ground water by addressing supply as well as demand side to reduce ground water consumption".
- NGMIS will be implemented across the country, but special focus will be on states having 'dark' (over-exploited) zones where the withdrawal of water is more than the recharge.
- These states include Haryana, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh (Bundelkhand region and parts of western UP) and Madhya Pradesh (Bundelkhand region).
- Indiscriminate use of ground water, mainly for irrigation, has increased the number of over-exploited units from 802 in March, 2009 to 1,071 in March, 2011 in the country.
- The over-exploited units are mostly concentrated in Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, western UP, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu.
- The programme would be implemented during 2017-2022 period.
- It is being framed in coordination with existing programmes and activities including MGNREGA, the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) as well as the National Hydrology Project (NHP).
- It will also have a 'performance-based incentive' system as its key component to reward states and local authorities for improvement in groundwater management.
- The NGMIS will cover the policy aspects of irrigation efficiency, crop diversification and artificial recharge in the areas which witnessed uncontrolled and unplanned groundwater extraction over the last 50 years.
Groundwater in India: Know More
- India annually extracts 245 Billion Cubic Meter (BCM) of groundwater.
- This accounts for nearly 25% of the total global groundwater abstraction.
- About 222 BCM out of 245 BCM of groundwater is being used annually for irrigation.
- Remaining 23 BCM is consumed by domestic and industry sector.
- Programme includes clear targets for groundwater recharge, water use efficiency and aquifer protection by participating states.