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National Water Awards

  • 11 Nov 2020
  • 5 min read

Why in News

The Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation of the Ministry of Jal Shakti, is organising the 2nd National Water Awards (NWAs) for the year 2019.

Key Points

  • National Water Awards:
    • The awards are organised by the Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Ministry of Jal Shakti.
    • The NWAs were launched in 2007 for the first time along with the Ground Water Augmentation Awards and the winners in different categories are given a citation, trophy and cash prize.
    • These focus on the good work and efforts made by individuals and organisations across the country, and the government’s vision for the path to ‘Jal Samridh Bharat’.
    • Objectives:
      • To motivate individuals/organisations who are doing commendable work in the field of water resources conservation and management.
      • To create awareness among the people about the importance of water and encourage them to adopt the best water usage practices.
    • Opportunities Provided: Start-ups, leading organisations and people can engage, deliberate and strengthen existing partnerships on issues concerning water conservation and management activities.
  • Need for Water Conservation and Management:
    • Depletion of water resources due to overuse and decline in water supplies due to climate change is pushing India closer to the tipping point of water scarcity.
    • Apart from these, several government policies especially pertaining to agriculture resulted in over-exploitation of water. These factors make India a water-stressed economy. In this context there is a need for water resource conservation and management.

Initiatives by the Government

  • Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act:
    • The huge workforce employed under the MGNREGA has enabled the government to introduce water conservation as a project under the Act.
    • The government aims to improve groundwater harvesting, build water conservation and storage mechanisms through MGNREGA.
  • Jal Kranti Abhiyan:
    • Under it, the government is making active efforts to revolutionise villages and cities through block-level water conservation schemes.
    • For example, the Jal Gram Scheme under the Jal Kranti Abhiyan is aimed at developing two model villages in water-starved areas to lead the other villages towards water conservation and preservation.
  • National Water Mission:
    • It was launched with the objective of conservation of water, minimising wastage and ensuring more equitable distribution both across and within states through integrated water resources development and management.
  • NITI Aayog's Composite Water Management Index:
    • With the objective of achieving effective utilization of water, NITI Aayog has developed the Composite Water Management Index.
  • Jal Shakti Ministry and Jal Jeevan Mission:
    • The efforts like the formation of Jal Shakti Ministry (to tackle water issues holistically) and the goal to provide piped water to all rural households by 2024, under the Jal Jeevan mission, are steps in the right direction.
  • Atal Bhujal Yojana:
    • It is a central sector scheme worth Rs.6,000 crore for sustainable management of groundwater with community participation.
    • It envisages people's participation through the formation of ‘Water User Associations’, water budgeting, preparation and implementation of Gram-panchayat-wise water security plans, etc.
  • Jal Shakti Abhiyan:
    • It was launched in July 2019 as a campaign for water conservation and water security in the country.

Way Forward

  • People tend to neglect the importance of water conservation because in most places it is free of cost or charged nominally, so it is important for them to realise its importance and be aware of its degrading status.
  • Initiatives like National Water Awards, along with the other government initiatives will help to create that awareness and motivate them to adopt the best water usage practices which will help India in becoming ‘Jal Samridh Bharat’.

Source: PIB

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