Groundwater levels are depleting in the northern state of Haryana and the authorities are trying new modes of water conservation to face water demands in the state. The state authorities are planning to construct small dams in hilly areas to conserve water for drinking purpose and irrigation, reported the Indian Express Water in the springs at the Aravalli and Shivalik regions during the rainy season will be conserved by constructing dams, said Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.
Haryana currently meets only 74 per cent of its water demands for irrigation and drinking, household purposes. The state draws 10 million acre-feet of water from the underground, 9.5 million acre-feet from Bhakra and Yamuna projects and 8 million acre-feet through rain water harvesting.
Khattar in order to encourage building of small dams to meet local water needs announced Rs 50 lakh from his voluntary fund for water conservation at Nuh district’s Pathkhori village. He also appreciated Tarun Bhagat Singh for his water conservation efforts.
The small dam being built in the village will be able to store up to 224 hectares of water and can be used as a reservoir for irrigation needs and drinking water supply to up to nine villages and also recharge groundwater. A plan has already been made to construct six small dams in the Panchkula district in the coming year. Small dams were built earlier under the Kandi project as well.
On being asked why the Mewat area was selected for the project, officials said the water level has depleted in the area. Ranney Well Scheme worth Rs 263 crore was started here to overcome water shortage and the government has been working to provide sufficient water to the southern part of the state. The Mewat Canal with a capacity of 200 cusecs is being constructed where water will be taken from Yamuna along the KMP Expressway.
The Mera Pani-Meri Virasat Scheme is giving Rs 7,000 per acre to the farmers for sowing alternate crops in place of paddy to save water for irrigation purposes. The state has around 6,885 villages and officials have found nearly 41 per cent villages in the category of “groundwater stressed” while another 18 has been classified as “potential groundwater stressed.”
The government has already launched schemes to control over-exploitation of groundwater. Project director Atal-Bhujal Yojna Satbir Singh Kadian informed that groundwater has been overexploited in 85 of total 141 blocks in the state. A water security plan aimed at launching awareness about water conservation will be formulated for each village in 85 blocks.