- Conservation related issues.
What to study?
For prelims: Key features of the programme.
For mains: Water scarcity problem in India and Maharashtra in particular, causes, challenges and measures proposed.
What is Jalyukta Shivar?
It is the flagship programme of the Maharashtra government launched in December 2014.
Aim: To make 5,000 villages free of water scarcity.
- The scheme targets drought-prone areas by improving water conservation measures in order to make them more water sustainable. The scheme envisages to arrest maximum run-off water, especially during the monsoon months, in village areas known to receive less rainfall, annually.
- Under the scheme, decentralised water bodies were installed at various locations within villages to enhance the groundwater recharge.
- It also proposed to strengthen and rejuvenate water storage capacity and percolation of tanks and other sources of storage.
- Dedicated committees were formed to assist in construction of watersheds like farm ponds, cement nullah bunds alongside rejuvenating the existing water bodies in the villages.
Why was the scheme introduced?
About 82 per cent area of Maharashtra falls is rainfed sector while 52 per cent of area is drought prone. This, when coupled with natural rainfall variability and long dry spells during the monsoons, severely hampers agriculture activities.
How does this intervention work?
- Under the scheme, water streams in a locality are deepened and widened, which would later be connected to the newly constructed chains of cement nullah bunds in the village.
- Besides, efforts would be made to arrest and store water in small earthen dams and farm ponds in such areas. While new interventions are made, maintenance of existing sources like canals and all kinds of wells would be undertaken.
- Activities like desilting of water conservation structures and repairs of canals are undertaken to help improve water storage and percolation at the site.
- Additionally, recharge of dug and tubewells would be taken up in specific locations.
- Real time information of water availability due to such interventions would be gathered from each village of every tehsil from all districts and the same would be fed into a common portal.
What are the outcomes of the scheme?
Long- term outcomes:
- To strengthen the rural economy, which continues to be largely agriculture-driven.
- Improve farmer income by addressing the basic problem pertaining to availability of water for farming or irrigation purposes.
- Reducing water scarcity in villages that have limited natural supply.
- Improving in risk management or becoming drought resilient and improving water availability through effective management.
Short- term outcomes:
- Reduction in the run-off water and diverting it to some kind of storage.
- Increasing water storage capacity.
- Increasing the rate of groundwater recharge.
- Enhancing soil fertility and ultimately, improving farm productivity.
Sources: Indian Express.