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Water Harvesting Movement: A Need of the Hour


 
Farooq Ahmad Bakloo* & Saima Tabassum** Contributors
(This article was published in the 34th issue of Enviro Annotations)
Water is an essential indigent of the human life from the history it is well recorded that the famous civilisations of the world were resided near the water sources because of this these civilisations were named as water civilisations. These civilisations are Mesopotamia Civilization (Tigris and Euphrates Rivers) Harappa Indus Valley civilisation (Indus and Ganges) Egypt Civilization (Nile River), and China civilisation (Yellow and Yangtze River). 
In the present, the world the freshwater resources are shirking day by day, which as a result many cities of the world are facing acute water shortage in the current time. According to the survey of 2014 that reported that, the world’s 500 cities largest cities estimate that one in four is in a situation of water stress.
 According to the BBC News report, the eleven cities of the world that are going to face the fresh water shortage these cities are Sao Paulo, Bangaluru, Beijing, Cario, Jakarta, Mosco, London, Tokyo and Miami ( https://www.bbc.com/news/world-42982959).
Cape Town is surrounded with water all around but will soon run out with drinking water. The local government is working hard to search for solutions to get fresh water. To get the continuous drinking water desalination plants, ground water collection projects and
Water recycling programmes are being conducted. (https://www.bbc.com/news/business-42626790).
Due to the population growth, the demand for the drinking water became more demanding.
According to the international rules, a country can be classified as 'water stressed' when water availability is less than 1700 m3 per capita per year whereas a country can be classified as 'water scarce' if it is less than 1000 cubic meter per capita per year. The average annual per capita availability of water in India, taking into consideration the population of the country as per the 2001 census, was 1816 cubic meters which decreased to1545 cubic meters in 2011 (Reference note June 2016 Lok Shaba Secretariat, New Delhi). The country obtains its 70% rainfall in the Monsoon that hoses the half of the country’s farmland (indiaenvironmentportal.org). During this entire period of the monsoon, a significant number of the residents of the country are not able to use this rainwater for productive purposes. The rainwater is collected through the technique called water harvesting. However, the irony is significant residents of the country did not yet realize the importance and advantages of this technique. In a contemporary period when the population of the country and economic growth are on the acceleration with full speed.
The water supplies in the urban centers are in the stress, depletion of the groundwater is at the velocity. These above-mentioned factors, directly and indirectly, affect the water sources of the country negatively. At this time, the notion of the water harvesting becomes furthermore important as a mitigation step to conserve the freshwater resources and a ladder towards sustainable development.
Recently the report of the NITI Ayog on the water crises has made headlines in the electronic and print media. The report reveals that 21 major Indians cities, will run out of the water by 2020. Further, the report highlights that India ranks second from the bottom in the Global Water Quality Index. In apart from this, the NITI Aayog report stated that 600 million people face the height of extreme water stress in the coming years. The report also mentioned that 84% of the rural household do not have access to piped water.
No doubt, the central Government has taken some efforts for the mitigation of water crises through the water harvesting techniques and artificial water recharging. In this regard, the central government are providing technical assistance to the states for the practical outcome of the water harvesting system.
The 2012 National water policy mentions highlights that rainwater harvesting and the conservation of the water and also highlights the enhancing the availability of water through direct use of rainfall.
 The state Governments also make it mandatory for water harvesting in their respective States. In the present, there are 25 states and 6 Union territories that have made compulsory to install the water harvesting system in their buildings.
 Apart from this, there are the provisions mentioned in the guideline of the MGNRGS that emphases on the creation of water harvesting projects in the villages.
Despite these laws and orders, the position at the grass-root level, the level implementation is not so effective. It is apparent from the field observations that these laws and rules are on the papers.
There is an urgent need to work on some measures that could help fight these problems. In this direction, the Panchayats and Municipalities play an important rule.  These local bodies Panchayats in Villages and Municipalities in cities could make it strictly compulsory to build a Rain Water Harvesting System while constructing any building and issue the guidelines to maintain the water harvesting in their areas.  These local bodies also can organize awareness programmes among people. These local bodies involve the local communities and provide them the training that how to use this technique at the grass-root level.  The educational Institutions can also play a heart role in spreading the education about the water harvesting in their adjacent areas they can assign micro-projects to the students who later on visit the nearby areas to cognizant the local community.  There is a need for the mass water harvesting movement in the country to highlight the advantages of water harvesting in the country.
*Done Internship at Parliament of India and presently a PhD Scholar at Kumaun University Nainital S.S.J Campus Almora Uttrakhand
**Done Graduation in Fishers from G.B. Pant University of Agricultural and Technology Pantnagar Uttarakhand.

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