- Union ministers Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Jitendra Singh jointly launched a heli-borne survey for water management in arid areas of the State.
- The ministers rolled out the initiative by flagging off a helicopter.
- Union Jal Shakti Minister Mr. Shekhawat had recently given sanction to the survey to develop a high resolution aquifer map to increase ground water resources in arid areas of north western Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana and Punjab.
- The survey is the outcome of an agreement between the Central Groundwater Board, Jal Shakti Ministry and the National Geophysical Research Institute, Hyderabad.
What is Arid Area?
- Arid zones are generally defined as regions where rate of evaporation is greater than precipitation.
- These are also characterized by persistent water scarcity, frequent drought, high climatic variability and high wind velocity and various forms of land degradation, including desertification and loss of biodiversity.
- Arid areas in north western India are spread across the States of Rajasthan, Haryana, Gujarat and Punjab.
- The area covers about 12% of the total geographical area in India and is home to about 8 crore people.
- Annual rainfall in arid areas is in the range of 100 to 400 mm. Thus, there is an acute shortage of water throughout the year.
Heli-Borne Survey Technology
- Developed by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)-National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI), it will provide information about level, quantity, quality and information of ground water.
- The NGRI is a geoscientific research organization established in 1961 under the CSIR.
- It provides a high-resolution 3D image of the subsurface up to a depth of 500 metres below the ground.
- The main advantages of the Heliborne geophysical survey is that it is fast, highly data dense, precise and economical.
- This survey will be carried out in two phases, of which the first phase comprises an area spanning 1 lakh sq km.
- This includes 65,000 sq km in Rajasthan, 32,000 sq km in Gujarat and 2,500 sq km in Haryana.
- It is to be implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Jal Shakti as a part of National Aquifer Mapping Project.
Aim of the project
- This project has been developed with the aim of mapping potential groundwater sources and its management in providing safe drinking water to people in the water scarce arid regions of India.
- Larger areas can be covered to derive more accurate data to help utilize groundwater for drinking purposes.
- It will help in water conservation, identification of new places for ground water recharging and that too at lesser cost than the prevalent ones like digging tube wells using geophysics and remote sensing techniques.
- It will help in devising new schemes for improvement in water level in water scant areas.
National Aquifer Mapping Project:
- It was started as a part of the Ground Water Management and Regulation schemeto describe and characterize the aquifers to develop plans for ground water management.
- The plans related aquifer maps and management are being regularly shared with State Governments through the State Ground Water Coordination Committeeswhich is being chaired by the concerned Principal Secretaries of the respective States.
Other initiatives for water Management:
- Jal Jeevan Mission.
- Jal Shakti Abhiyan.
- National River Linking Project (NRLP)
- National Hydrology Programme.
- Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayi Yojana (PMKSY).
- River Basin Management.
- Atal Bhujal Yojana (ABHY).
- National Water Mission.
In Rajasthan, the soldering and Khadin type is:
- Of traditional water conservation techniques
- Of traditional war skills
- Of traditional folk dances
- Of traditional farming method