Haryana is one of the poorest manager of water resources and faces the threat of “aqua-calypse”, states the latest report of the Niti Aayog.
As per the Composite Water Management Index, Haryana, along with Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, is one of the worst performers with a score of 38 out of 100. Jharkhand is at the bottom with a score of 35.
The report on the state-wise performance on parameters of water management ranks Gujarat at number one in reference year 2016-17 with a score of 76, followed by Madhya Pradesh (69) and Andhra Pradesh (68).
Interestingly, water-starved Rajasthan has managed a score of 48 owing to its innovative water conservation and management schemes.
An analysis of the report brings out that Haryana was the only state to have provided data on rain-fed agriculture, making it the worst performer in that category as well.
The state has failed to provide information to the Niti Aayog about a policy and water governance or having notified any law or a legal framework to facilitate participatory irrigation and even having set up water user associations.
The water index is focused on the outcome of actions and implementation undertaken by states and does not reflect the baseline per capita water availability across states.
The index comprises nine broad sectors with 28 indicators, covering various aspects of groundwater, restoration of water bodies, irrigation, farm practices, drinking water, policy and governance.
For the purposes of analysis, the states were divided into two special groups — North-Eastern and Himalayan states and other states — to account for different hydrological conditions across the groups.
The report states the worst performing states, including Haryana, are home to 50 per cent of the country’s population, thereby highlighting the significant water-scarcity risk faced by the country.
The low performers are home to more than 600 million people and account for 20 to 30 per cent of agricultural input, highlighting a worrisome national water management situation.
Given the combination of rapidly declining groundwater levels and limited policy action (as indicated by the low index score), this is also likely to be a significant food security risk for the country going forward.
- Haryana provides water to more than 90 per cent of its rural and urban population
- The state treats 95 per cent of its waste water. This is the highest in the country
- None of identified wells in state have improved probably owing to lack of recharge infrastructure
- Haryana has constructed 40 per cent of its water-harvesting structures
Source: Sumedha Sharma, Tribune News Service, Gurugram, June 18