The Parliament has been informed that as per report of the National Commission on Integrated Water Resources Development (NCIWRD-1999), the mean annual rainfall, taking the country as a whole is 1,170 mm with wide regional variation. Giving this information in written reply to a question in theLok Sabha today on the average annual rainfall and rainwater harvesting, ShriSalman Khurshid, Minister of Water Resources, said that rain water is harvested through surface storages and recharge of ground water. The total storage capacity created through major and medium projects is around 225BCM. The data on quantum of rainwater harvested through groundwater recharging is 433 BCM. Ministry of Water Resources does not maintain the data on quantum of water harvested due to manmade structures separately. It is estimated that the water utilized in 2010 is about 681 BCM.
Shri Khurshid informed the House that as water is a State subject, it is primarily the responsibility of the State Government to plan, fund and to execute rainwater harvesting schemes. However, the Union Government has taken following steps to create awareness and to encourage States to implement rainwater harvesting projects:
- Demonstrative Projects on Rain Water Harvesting and Artificial Recharge to Ground Water with an outlay of 100 crore during 11th Plan.
- Sanctioned two schemes for Repair, Renovation and Restoration (RRR) of Water Bodies, one with external assistance with central outlay of Rs. 1,500 crore; and the other one with central outlay of Rs. 1,250 crore.
- Organized 384 mass awareness campaigns on Rain Water Harvesting and Artificial Recharge of ground water throughout the country under the Central Plan schemes namely ‘Ground Water Management & Regulation’ and ‘Information Education and Communication (IEC)’ of the Ministry of Water Resources and National Ground Water Congress during 2007 and2010.
- Circulation of the Master Plan for artificial recharge of ground water to the States/UTs in the year 2002.
- Launching of Ground Water Information System for dissemination of ground water related information to all stake holders including users in March 2010.
- Advised the States to make rainwater harvesting mandatory. In pursuance thereof, 18 States and 4 UTs have made rain water harvesting mandatory under building bye-laws.
- Issuance of directions by the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) to Chief Secretaries in 12 States and Administrators in 2 Union Territories having over-exploited blocks to take all necessary measures to promote/ adopt artificial recharge to ground water/ rain water harvesting.
- Issuing of directions by CGWA to all the Residential Group Housing Societies/ Institutions/Schools/ Hotels/ Industrial Establishments falling in the over-exploited and critical areas (Except in the water logged areas) in the country to adopt Roof Top Rain Water harvesting systems in their premises.
- Issuing of directions by CGWA to Heads of Central Road Research Institute, National Highway Authority of India, Central Public Works Department, Railway Board, Sports Authority, Airports Authority of India, Civil Aviation, Youth Affairs & Sports to implement the Scheme of Ground Water Recharge along all National/State Highways and other roads, railway tracks and other establishments of Railways, all stadia and airports.