The Government has approved Atal Bhujal Yojana (Atal Jal), an Rs. 6000 Crore Central Sector Scheme, for sustainable management of ground water resources with community participation. The funding pattern is 50:50 between Government of India and the World Bank.
The scheme has two components, viz. i) Institutional Strengthening and Capacity Building Component, aimed at strengthening the ground water governance mechanism in the participating States and ii) Incentive Component, aimed at incentivizing the States for various measures for ensuring the long-term sustainability of groundwater resources.
The scheme envisages active participation of the communities, including women, in various activities such as the formation of Water User Associations, monitoring and disseminating groundwater data, water budgeting, preparation and implementation of Gram-Panchayat wise water security plans and IEC activities related to sustainable groundwater management.
Water being a State subject, it is the prerogative of the State Governments to frame various Acts for sustainable management of water for any purpose.
As per information received from Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs, the Model Building Bye Laws, 2016, has been issued for guidance of the States/UTs which has a chapter on ‘Rainwater Harvesting’. 33 States/UTs have adopted the rainwater harvesting provisions. The provisions of this chapter are applicable to all the buildings. The implementation of the rainwater harvesting policy comes within the purview of the State Government/Urban Local Body / Urban Development Authority.
In order to regulate the Over-exploitation and consequent depletion of groundwater, the Ministry has circulated a Model Bill to all the States/UTs to enable them to enact suitable ground water legislation for the regulation of its development, which includes the provision of rainwater harvesting. So far, 15 States/UTs have adopted and implemented the groundwater legislation on the lines of Model Bill.
Central Ground Water Board has prepared “Empowering Village Communities for A Sustainable Water Future: A Resource Book for village level para-hydrogeologists” jointly with MARVI (Managing Aquifer Recharge and Sustaining Groundwater Use through Village-level Intervention) partners which, inter-alia, include Western Sydney University, Australia, CSIRO Land & Water, Australia, Arid Communities and Technologies, Bhuj and Development Support Center, Ahmedabad. This is a step which is likely to help facilitate participation of village communities in ground water resource management including adequate awareness generation, ensuring a sustainable water future.
Further, Ministry has undertaken a number of Information, Education & Communication (IEC) activities for creating awareness among various target groups viz. organizing workshops/Seminars/Conferences, institution of National Water awards, social media campaign through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.
This information was given by the Union Minister of State for Jal Shakti & Social Justice and Empowerment, Shri Rattan Lal Kataria in a written reply in Lok Sabha.