Amid the growing concerns around groundwater, discuss the salient features, significance and prospects of Atal Bhoojal Yojana.
Ground water provides for about 60% of the irrigation needs, 85% of rural drinking water requirements and 50% of urban water needs. Over-exploitation and contamination has resulted in crisis like situation.
Atal Bhoojal Yojana is aimed at efficient management of available water resources and strengthening of ground water recharge mechanism through community participation.
Objectives of the scheme
- Recharging of ground water and creating sufficient water storage for agricultural purposes.
- Revival of surface water bodies for increasing ground water levels.
- Indian agriculture is referred as gamble with monsoons. Increasing ground water levels will aid in addressing issues of water availability for agriculture.
- Recharging of ground water levels will increase the ground water level. This will aid in addressing of the drinking water contamination issues.
- It will promote conservation of ground water by encouraging rain water harvesting.
- The scheme is aimed to be implemented through community participation. It also gives attention for addressing the issues of behavioral changes which are vital for addressing the ground water levels.
- The scheme would provide fresh and adequate water supply for urban and rural consumption needs.
- The scheme by addressing the issues of water availability with agriculture may enhance the viability of agriculture.
Clean drinking water is a sustainable development goal. The recharging of ground water not only provides with safe drinking water but also provides improved irrigation facilities for farmers