BENGALURU: The state government on Friday approved the State Water Policy-2021, which will look at implementing projects that aim to utilise surface water to ensure adequate water supplies to its citizens. The cabinet also gave the nod to constitute an inter-departmental state water resources authority, headed by the water resources minister.
With the cabinet also approving various projects worth over Rs 1,000 crore across the state to ensure tap water to every household under the Centre’s Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM), the new policy, in line with the National Water Policy, stresses on judicious use of available water. After the cabinet meeting, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister JC Madjhu Swamy said the new policy will address issues like collecting surface water from rivers and other sources, and also evolving a mechanism to collect excess water during floods for future use. “Every individual needs 1,608 cubic metre of water per year and the policy will look at meeting those requirements,” he added.
As per the proposal by the Water Resources Department, 56 per cent of land in the state is irrigated by groundwater. Karnataka is one of the most water-stressed states in the country with 61 per cent area drought prone. The new policy will address issues of overexploitation of groundwater, geogenic pollutants and biological contamination of water.
A system will be evolved to collect water data, its analysis and a decision support system to manage water efficiently, it was suggested. The Advanced Centre for Integrated Water Resources Management, following a recommendation from Jnana Aayoga, had prepared the state draft water policy 2021 for the government.