Groundwater depletion reversed in India, situation eases in stressed blocks: Gajendra Singh Shekhawat : The Tribune India

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Groundwater depletion reversed in India, situation eases in stressed blocks: Gajendra Singh Shekhawat

Govt efforts have paid off, says minister

Groundwater depletion reversed in India, situation eases in stressed blocks: Gajendra Singh Shekhawat

Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on Wednesday said India had successfully reversed groundwater depletion trends with 10 per cent of the stressed blocks nationally recording improvement in their status.



Tribune News Service

Aditi Tandon

New Delhi, February 7

Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on Wednesday said India had successfully reversed groundwater depletion trends with 10 per cent of the stressed blocks nationally recording improvement in their status.

Water for villages

Of 19 crore rural houses, 74% have been covered with clean drinking water under Har Ghar Jal camapign. Until 2014, only three crore houses had drinking water connection. Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Union Minister

Speaking to The Tribune, Shekhawat rejected estimates that India was on the verge of becoming a water scarce nation. “Let me at the outset reject estimates suggesting that India will become a water scarce nation. In these 10 years, we have spent $250 billion on the entire spectrum of water and we are on the right path,” the minister.

Shekhawat said nearly 4,000 billion cubic metre of water was annually available in nature, of which 2,000 bcm is harvestable and the rest is lost to various causes. The current annual water demand of India is 1,100 bcm, which means the harvestable component of water is nearly double than the demand currently and there is no major scarcity at hand.

Asked what would happen in the future with population growth and industrialisation, the minister said “going forward India will have to enhance its current water retention capacity which stands at 250 bcm as of today.”

“Work is underway on that,” Shekhawat said.

As per government assessment, water requirements by 2047 will exceed the total quantum of water available with us.

Shekhawat said ground water depletion trends had reversed. “Groundwater depletion was a major cause of concern but the trend has been reversed. The latest assessment shows 10 % stress blocks have improved — over exploited have become semi critical; critical have become safe and so on,” the minister said.

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