The National Water Mission (NWM) of Ministry of Jal Shakti has initiated “Catch the Rain” campaign in order to promote the creation of Rain Water Harvesting Structures (RWHS) suitable to the climatic conditions and sub-soil strata to store rainwater.
In a written reply to a member in Rajya Sabha today, the Minister of State for Jal Shakti & Social Justice and Empowerment Rattan Lal Kataria said drives to make water harvesting pits, rooftop RWHS and check dams, removal of encroachments and de-silting of tanks to increase their storage capacity, removal of obstructions in the channels which bring water to them from the catchment areas, repairs to traditional water harvesting structures like step-wells and using defunct bore-wells and old wells to put the water back to aquifers etc, are some of the activities suggested to be taken up with peoples’ active participation under this campaign.
Central Ground Water Board is implementing a nationwide programme of “National Aquifer Mapping and Management (NAQUIM)” for mapping of aquifers (Water bearing formations), their characterization and development of aquifer management plans to facilitate sustainable development of groundwater resources. Aquifer maps and management plans have been shared with the respective State Government agencies. Public Interaction Programs are being organized at the grass-root level for disseminating the tenets of the Aquifer Management Plans for the benefit of the stakeholders, he said
To promote recharge of groundwater, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has formulated guidelines for the States to adopt measures suitable to local conditions. The adequate focus has been given on requirement of rainwater harvesting and water conservation measures in Model Building Bye-Laws (MBBL), 2016 and Urban and Regional Development Plan Formulation and Implementation (URDPFI) Guidelines, 2014, he concluded adding that the Ministry, however, has not carried out any specific study to ascertain the extent of the decline in water harvesting due to illegal encroachment of water bodies.