Mukhya Mantri Jal Swavlamban Abhiyan: a Revolution to Resolve Rajasthan’s Water Scarcity Problem
Rajasthan – a state proud of its royal culture and intriguing architecture, is the largest state in the country. Geographically, it spreads across 342 lac hectares of land, out of which 60% constitutes of the Thar Desert. Water scarcity is a prevalent problem in the region as it suffers from the lowest amount of precipitation in the country throughout the year. The high growth rate of the population also raises the per capita water requirements. This called for a need to launch a mission, which can collectively work towards better water management techniques and related activities in the state. To serve the same purpose, the government has laid down the groundwork for Mukhya Mantri Jal Swavlamban Abhiyan. Its vision is to guarantee a successful execution of water gathering and protection related exercises in the rural regions of the state.
Need for MJSA
A few water preservation ventures have been actualized in the past by various State Departments, but it was observed that these endeavours were needed to be synchronized on a larger scale, which could be achieved by the MJSA program.
Threats to Water Resources and Need for Water Conservation
Water is one of our most critical assets, as each living being depends on water to survive in some form or shape. It is a finite and irreplaceable resource that is fundamental to human well-being. It is considered of utmost importance to attain sustainability and is primarily significant for socio-economic development, healthy ecosystems, and for human survival itself. Water is additionally at the focus of the environmental change, serving as the vital connection between the atmosphere framework, human society, and environment.
Strain from the populace, financial development, environmental change, contamination, and different difficulties – it affects our social, monetary, and ecological prosperity. All these sectors are responsible for increasing stress on water resources usage. Water is vital for reducing the global burden of disease and improving the health, welfare, and productivity of populations. Many of our most important aquifers are being over-pumped, causing widespread declines in groundwater levels. By 2020, about 30-40 percent of the world will have water scarcity and the climate change in the future will make this even worse.
11 things to know about the Mukhyamantri Jal Swavlamban Campaign of Rajasthan
1) MJSA or Mukhyamantri Jal Swavlamban Abhiyan is an ambitious campaign by Government of Rajasthan led by Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje aims to make Rajasthan self-sustainable in water by conserving and harvesting rainwater. It envisions increasing Rajasthan’s area under irrigation and making villages self-sufficient in drinking water by adopting water budgeting through community participation.
2) MJSA adopted similar pattern like done by the Maharashtra where 8 water scarce districts became water sufficient after adopting this model.
3) This ambitious state-wide campaign for water conservation was officially initiated at village Gardan Kheri in Jhalawar district of Rajasthan.
How One Campaign can change the desert state of India
A recent World Bank report says that by the year 2020 most major Indian cities will run dry. India has the highest water footprints among the top rice and wheat producing countries (China, US, Indonesia, etc.). If we talk about Rajasthan in particular, conditions are even worse. At least 19 districts, out of the total 33, are facing water crisis in Rajasthan. The state has faced drought for 61 out of the last 67 years. Hence, it is aptly called, the driest state in the country. It is fitting too since it suffers from water scarcity, holds only 1.6% of water resources of the country. If these numbers are of some clue, Rajasthan is not in very good shape when it comes to water sustainability. As a state covering 10% land of the country, this number is evident of the fact that it’s water sustenance nowhere sufficient to fulfill the needs of its residents.
Plantation around Water Retention Structures of Mukhyamanti Jal Swavlamban Abhiyan
Mukhyamantri Jal Swavlamban Abhiyan focuses towards participation from the village locals, NGOs, non-resident villagers, religious communities, and corporate houses through their CSR initiatives in cash, kind, and labour for water harvesting in Rajasthan's rural areas. Now to speed up the process and increase the benefits, one another aspect has been added, which is a plantation of trees. Alongside Mukhyamantri Jal Swavlamban Abhiyan, plantation of trees aims for the objective of raising the ground water levels.
Amazing work done till now in Vasundhara Raje’s MJSA Campaign
CM Vasundhara Raje launched Mukhyamantri Jal Swavlamban Abhiyan with a desire to find a long-term answer to water shortage issues and create a water-sustainable environment in Rajasthan. Since its inception, much work has been done under the campaign and desirable results are observed all over.
Let’s talk about some of the successful scenarios. First comes the district of Banswara.
How Unique is Vasundhara Raje’s MJSA for Rajasthan
Mukhya Mantri Jal Swavlamban Abhiyan as a campaign promises a massive potential but what makes it different and unique from other previous generations of similar nature campaigns guarantees its success. Let us understand how it differentiates. Previously it was observed that separate working of each division created a dysfunctional state. Now understanding the need of cohesive action, all those departments are allowed to work together.
Vasundhara Raje's Four Waters Concept - An Attempt to Change the Landscape of Rajasthan
In Rajasthan, the land of rich heritage and royal history, the condition of water sustainability has been identified to be in considerably bad condition. Extreme hot temperatures, below average rainfall, and wastage of rainwater are also adding up to the situation. Statistics weigh on this point. If we look at rainfall measures, every year Rajasthan receives 16.05 billion cubic meters of rainfall, out of which 4 billion cubic meters is getting wasted as run-off.
Depleting water table levels, year after year is common phenomenon observed in all drought-prone areas, similar is the case of Rajasthan. This leads to increase in the digging of bore wells which result in lowering of the water table. Adequate recharge works would be the answer to such a situation, not increasing the number of wells or drilling deeper. This aspect is considered in the strategy known as Four Waters Concept.