Water scarcity has become a universal problem. With a view to conserve water, several water resources development projects have been taken up in the country.
In a press release the government of India today informed that the average annual rainfall in India is about 1170 mm. However, there is very high temporal and spatial variation in rainfall.
The release further said that there had been considerable progress in respect of water resources development in India since independence through major, medium and minor irrigation schemes and multipurpose projects. The live storage capacity of the completed dam projects is estimated to be 213 Billion Cubic Meter (BCM) which was only about 15.6 BCM at the time of independence. Besides, as per present assessment, the total estimated storage capacity of the various projects under construction is about 76 BCM. Further, the State Governments have identified various other schemes for investigation and planning and the estimated storage for such schemes is about 108 BCM.
The average annual precipitation is estimated as 4000 Billion Cubic Meter (BCM) in the country. After accounting for the natural process of evaporation etc. the average annual water availability is assessed as 1869 BCM. It is estimated that owing to topographic, hydrological and other constraints, the utilizable water is 1123 BCM. Rest of the water could be considered to be flowing down to sea.
Government of India is providing central assistance to the State Governments through various schemes, programmes, such as Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programmes (AIBP); Command Area Development and Water Management (CADWM) Programme; National Project for Repair, Renovation and Restoration of Water Bodies directly linked to Agriculture etc. It also encourages rainwater harvesting and recharge to groundwater for conservation of water. Several measures for development and management of water resources are undertaken by the respective States Governments which include creation of storages, restoration of water bodies, rain water harvesting, artificial recharge to ground water and adoption of better management practices etc. State Governments conceive, plan and implement major, medium and minor schemes (both surface and ground water) for utilization of water resources.