July 12, 2019
‘Jal Dharo Jal Bharo’ – A successful water conservation project
With water scarcity becoming a major issue across the world, the State Government decided to designate a day dedicated to spreading awareness on water conservation.
July 12 was recently named as ‘Save Water Day’ by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Rallies and various other programmes are going to be held today across Bangla.
Jal Dharo Jal Bharo
The Trinamool Congress Government though has been stressing on preserving precious water resources right from when it came to power. In 2011, the year it came to power, the new government launched one of its flagship schemes, Jal Dharo Jal Bharo.
It is a unique scheme for water conservation and one of the government’s most successful schemes, delivering several times the target numbers. The scheme underscores the government’s commitment to provide clean drinking water to every block in Bangla.
The Jal Dharo Jal Bharo Scheme is overseen by the Water Resource Development Directorate (WRDD), which falls under the Water Resources Investigation & Development Department.
The objective of Jal Dharo Jal Bharo is to harvest and conserve rainwater, and use it for farming, drinking and for farm animals. Harvesting is done in all kinds of waterbodies – tanks, ponds, reservoirs, canals – and through artificially recharging underground water using rainwater collected in rooftop tanks.
Conserving for the purpose of irrigation is also achieved by arresting rainwater and surface water in derelict and silted tanks. The water is desilted before use.
The excavation and re-excavation of waterbodies is done under the MGNREGA Scheme (100 Days’ Work).
Conserving rainwater helps in four main ways:
- Making available water throughout the year, and especially during summer
- Making drinking water available in remote areas
- Increasing underground water level
- Increasing water availability for irrigation
Till date, nearly 3 lakh waterbodies and water detention structures have been dug under the Jal Dharo Jal Bharo Scheme, and the scheme is considered a model worth emulating. In financial year 2018-19, 29,135 waterbodies and water detention structures have been created or renovated.
This highly successful scheme has been implemented in several urban areas too. Recently it has been decided by the Urban Development and Municipal Affairs Department, and as announced by the departmental minister in the Assembly, to include 15 more municipalities in the scheme’s ambit within the next one year.