Jal Shakti Abhiyan lead to 3.5 lakh water conservation initiatives in a month

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on August 03, 2019 Published on August 03, 2019

A month-long campaign to improve water security in the country has resulted in implementing 3.5 lakh water conservation measures which saw an estimated 2.64 crore participating, an official statement has said here.

A review of the first phase of Jal Shakti Abhiyan (JSA) chaired by Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha on Friday found that the movement involved 1.54 lakh water conservation and rain water harvesting measures, 1.23 lakh watershed development projects, over 65,000 reuse and recharge structures and rejuvenation of 20,000 traditional water bodies.

“JSA has definitely created a lot of buzz in the country, and it will do lot of good in the years to come. Our aim is to ensure the benefits reach the farmers at the ground-level,“ the statement quoted Sinha as saying.

According to Parameswaran Iyer, Secretary of Department of Drinking Water, JSA has led to an increase in groundwater level, surface water storage capacity, soil moisture in farm lands and increased plant cover.

The JSA is a collaborative effort of various Ministries of the Centre and State Governments, and is primarily a Jal Sanchay campaign, which has gained phenomenal momentum in one month. About 4.25 crore saplings were planted as a part of the efforts.

At the review meeting also saw many NGOs working in the area of water conservation making presentations about deploying successful interventions, innovations and strategies.

Film actor Aamir Khan, who founded Paani Foundation, showcased films about grass-root level stories in Maharashtra, where people in many villages have benefited from the foundation’s mobilisation efforts. He stressed upon the need for educating people at village-level about the importance of saving water, showing them effective ways and techniques and how they can play a leading role in taking the initiatives forward.

Kalyan Paul, Executive Director, Pan Himalayan Grassroots Development Foundation, Uttarakhand elaborated how women played an important role in water conservation across the mountain States of India. Aranyak, an NGO working in North East India, highlighted the importance of “Dong Bundh System” (a traditional water conservation and management system) which ensures availability of drinking and irrigation water by deploying conventional methods.

Representatives of Bangalore based Arghyam highlighted the importance of educating locals, honing their skills, ensuring their participation and ownership in managing local water bodies and continuing this practice on a daily basis to ensure efficient water conservation measures.

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Published on August 03, 2019
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