Timely Jal Jan Abhian

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Timely Jal Jan Abhian

Saturday, 18 February 2023 | Pioneer

Timely Jal Jan Abhian

Water conservation is in the nation’s best interests and it should be taken up on priority

The Jal Jan Abhian launched by Prime Minister Modi is one of the timeliest steps to conserve water and ensure that people do not feel a shortage of water in the time to come. The Jal Jan Abhian is one of a joint nationwide campaign by Brahma Kumaris and the Union Jal Shakti Ministry, a kind of public-private partnership but it is all about creating awareness amongst the people and ensuring that water gets proper attention from the government as well as the people. The Jal Jan Abhian is perfectly synched with one of the 17 UN goals for sustainable development to be achieved by the year 2030. Water conservation is indeed one of the most important sustainable development programs for the country as we are running out of potable water. Most of our water bodies including rivers are polluted and whatever fresh water we have, is often wasted by the fortunate few while others have to fetch water from long distances. Most rivers, lakes, and surface water in India are polluted due to industries, untreated sewage, and solid wastes. Although the average annual precipitation in India is about 4000 billion cubic meters, only about 1122 billion cubic meters of water resources are available for utilization due to a lack of infrastructure. Much of this water is unsafe because pollution degrades water quality. Water pollution severely limits the amount of water available to Indian consumers, industry, and agriculture. Unfortunately, the root cause of water pollution is our ignorance and carelessness. We pollute rivers and water bodies without even realizing it.

In this context, the awareness campaign is very necessary. The Prime Minister rightly said that it should be a collective concern. Besides, over-exploitation of the groundwater is also a cause of concern as the water table is going down with every passing year. This is because we are the largest user of groundwater in the world, and most of the crops of wheat and rice bank upon groundwater extraction putting a heavy load on the groundwater. India uses 25 percent of all groundwater extracted globally, surpassing the USA and China. And because 70 percent of the water supply in agriculture today is groundwater, it will remain the lifeline of India’s water supplies for years to come. The awareness campaign will be held across the country for eight months, targeting 10 crore people. Indeed, as the Prime Minister rightly said,  there shall be a tomorrow only if there is water, and for this, we have to make joint efforts right now!

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