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Case Study of the Day: Switching to Surface Water Sources, to solve Water Issues in Naupada District

Table of Contents

Context: The prevalent issues relating to drinking water and groundwater contamination in the state of Odisha have been solved by switching the source from groundwater to surface water.

About the Switch of Source

  • Earlier situation in Naupada District
    • Over-extraction of groundwater resulted in increased concentration of natural fluoride.
      • Fluoride levels in drinking water reached four times higher than permissible limits by WHO.
    • Absence of alternative sources of drinking water, led to serious health issues among residents of the region.
  • Under the National Water Quality Sub-Mission (NWQSM) fund, a permanent solution was proposed and the source of drinking water was moved from groundwater to surface water.
  • Changes made:
    • After the launch of Jal Jeevan Mission in 2019, river water was tapped for drinking under the mission for drinking water purposes in the Naupada District.
    • Lower Indira dam and Jonk river dam have become potential sources of drinking water.
  • The impact of the switch:
    • Water from Dam reservoirs were collected from intake wells and transported to water treatment plants.
    • Water then is purified to drinking standard and transferred to overhead tanks in different villages, which is then supplied to households through pipelines.
  • Evident impacts:
    • It is now possible to treat water for biological, physical and chemical impurities and provide clean water with all parameters within the permissible limit to the households.
    • People have seen substantial changes in their lives and health, as the efforts to fetch potable water have eased.
  • Operations: Village Water and Sanitation Committees (VWSCs) have been formed in all the villages of the district for future handover and operations of water supply projects.


  • Given the looming water crisis and threats to potable water in India, there is a need for such interventions to arrive at more local sustainable solutions.

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