To tackle acute problem of steep decline in groundwater table, Punjab Government has entered into an agreement with National Water Company of Israel, M/s Mekorot, for formulation of Water Conservation and Management Master Plan (WCMMP) for conservation and management of water resources of the state.
Notably, Israel is the only nation in the world which recycles more than 80 percent of its waste water. As per the agreement, the recommendations of the M/s Mekorot shall be submitted in 18 months, and the final report of the master plan is expected in October 2020.
As a part of this project, a three-member team of experts from Israel is on field visit of Punjab from June 11 to 14 to know about the present situation and the challenges being faced by the state in dealing with the water sector.
An interactive session with the technical experts of different departments of the state involving Water Resources, Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Water Supply and Sanitation, Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL), Soil and Water Conservation was presided by Directorate of Groundwater Management’s mission director Arunjit Singh Miglani on Tuesday. The experts from Indian Meteorological Department and Central Ground Water Board also participated in the session.
Miglani emphasized on the grave problem of deteriorating condition of water resources and lack of timely and effective action could prove to be disastrous for the agrarian state.
Dr Diego Berger, International Special Projects Coordinator from Israel, gave a presentation on the Water Resources Management System in Israel demonstrating that Israel enacted the Water Measurement Law in 1955 which empowered the state to measure each and every drop of water supplied to public for every sector.
Later in 1959, Israel Water Law was enacted that empowered the state to establish a price mechanism.
During the session, the state’s Chief Engineer, Canals, Jagmohan Singh Mann and Chief Engineer, Drainage and Mining, Sanjiv Gupta briefed the Israeli team about the existing irrigation and flood management infrastructure in the state and the challenges being faced by them thereof.
The Project Manager Niv Pintow appreciated the cooperation being extended by various departments of the State in sharing the data and challenges in managing the water sector.
The Israeli team along with the officers of Water Resources Department, Punjab will visit various sites in the next three days in
the state to get an overview of the existing water resources and infrastructure in the state and also covering the major problematic areas in Punjab.