Slideshow image
   
becpl
Mfg. of Water well Drilling Rigs, Dth Hammers and Button Bits...
 
phe
Water Well Drilling Rigs, Dth Drilling Rigs, Rotary Drilling Rigs...
 
phe
Blast hole Drills, Water Well Drilling Rig, Mud Pumps, Vertical Turbine Pumps...
klrsai deepagetechjcr
 

Rainwater Harvesting Can Solve the Water Crisis of Orissa

By Bikash Kumar Pati
Orissa is bestowed with huge potential of water resources. The state receives 231 BMC (Billion m3) of rainfall annually. The average annual precipitation of Orissa is around 1500 mm. and 80% this occurs during June to September. Most of the rainfall in Orissa is due to southwest monsoon. The state experiences about 70 rainy days during monsoon. Despite all those, the state has experienced 12 years of flood and 5 years of drought within last 18 years (Between 1990 to 2008). When flood was common in coastal plain, drought was in upper terrain. But with the changing scenario, both drought and flood are common in almost all parts of the state. 10 districts of Orissa had experienced flood up to 1991 and after 1994 more and more districts figured in the list. The height is that, in the year 2007, 27 districts out of 30 in Orissa experienced the flood. 
Around 80% of rural population in Orissa depends upon ground water for drinking and domestic purposes. At the same time, due to change in the pattern of rainfall, people have started shifting from rain fed agriculture to seasonal irrigated hi-yielding agriculture. This is again increasing the consumption of ground water like anything. Massive industrialization in Orissa is another additional threat to ground water, as industries like steel plants are run with precious ground water in Orissa. The Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) has clearly indicated that the ground water of 24 out of 30 districts in Orissa is depleting. The ground water aquifers in many regions of our state have already gone dry. Shockingly, these aquifers have been sucked dry not to provide water for drinking and domestic use, but to meet the demand of agriculture and small industries. As if all this was not enough, large industries have now joined the race to dry up the ground water aquifers.
The above mentioned crisis clearly indicates the lack of management of rain water in the state. The rain water causes a lot of health hazards directly and indirectly in the flood and post flood situations besides the drinking water problem. During the summer (Earlier it was for two months and now it is for almost 6 months), people of Orissa faces acute water scarcity due to lack of proper management of rain water during rain. Rainwater, being the only means of fresh water for us, tangible step is yet to be taken to harvest that.
Rain water has been successfully harvested in many states of India and especially in urban set-ups; people are effectively harvesting rain water to meet the water requirement for the entire year. If we look at the national perspective, rain water harvesting is mandatory in 11 states and Orissa does not figure in the list.
 Rainwater harvesting may be defined as any human activity involving collection and storage of rainwater in some natural or artificial container either for immediate use or use before the onset of the next monsoon. Rainwater harvesting as defined above was followed both at individual and community levels from times immemorial to obtain high-quality water for domestic, agricultural and other uses. Rain water harvesting is not a new concept in our state. If we look at the traditional land and water management practices, we can find ancient rainwater harvesting methods of water supply – both for drinking and domestic as well as for irrigation. But those declined when the civilised government took over the self-appointed task of supplying water trough tube wells and pipe from long distances extracting the ground water.
Rain water harvesting can be done either for ground water recharging or for storing the water to meet day to day water requirement and even both the things. When we talk about ground water recharging, basically focus lies on ensuring sustainability of the sources and augmenting water availability. Another added advantage is there of ground water recharging - that is ensuring the water quality. This concept is not new and in Ghaga Village of Hayana it has been effectively solved the water quality problem.
Despite knowing the benefits of rain water harvesting, no tangible step has been taken yet to execute the process. Though the intellectuals verdict is that rain water harvesting is the need of the hour. But no such step has been taken to either make it a mandate in urban set-up or to aware the rural community regarding its importance. People those are completely dependant on ground water are yet to know its value. Though in urban set-ups like Bhubaneswar, the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) has made inclusion of rainwater harvesting mechanism in the plan mandatory, but there is virtually no monitoring of the plan execution and follow-up action and there are instances of major violations by builders. Even there is around 38% water loss due to leakage in water supply in Bhubaneswar city, whereas the national average is 21.62% (In Class-1 cities). The authority is heading towards Naraz barrage to meet the additional water loss (16% Approximate), which can easily be covered-up through rain water harvesting. If this is the situation in state capital, the situation of other urban areas can easily be realized.
If we look at the water requirement of the state, according to Water Resources Department of Government of Orissa, it is 54.99 BMC (Billion m3) per year during 2001 and projected 84.463 BMC (Billion m3) per year during 2051 covering the requirements like domestic, agriculture, industry, environment and others. Comparing the requirement and availability of water through precipitation i.e. 231 BMC (Billion m3), it can be easily estimated that how rain water harvesting can solve the problem and suffice the water requirement. The only bottleneck is the will to go about the task with a firm belief that it is possible. With the strong belief, a coordinated effort by all segments of government machinery along with strong legislation to both execute and monitor the process can save the state from severe water crisis in future.
Water Requirement for Different Uses (Quantity in BMC)


Uses

Year – 2001

Year – 2051

Surface

Ground

Total

Surface

Ground

Total

Domestic

0.798

1.198

1.996

1.202

1.803

3.005

Agriculture

18.00

4.688

22.688

40.00

9.408

49.408

Industry

0.606

0.100

0.706

1.750

0.20

1.950

Environment

21.00

8.40

29.40

21.00

8.40

29.40

Others

0.10

0.10

0.20

0.20

0.20

0.40

Total

40.504

14.486

54.99

64.152

20.01

84.463



Bikash Kumar Pati
Regional Centre for Development Cooperation (RCDC),
Bhubaneswar

Drilling Today Contact