MGNREGS To Focus On Water Conservation

Ministry of Rural Development on 1st July 2019 said that at least 75% of the work under MGNREGS would be geared at water conservation.

Reforming the MGNREGS:

  • The government is reorienting the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) towards water conservation by reserving at least 75% person days during 2019-20 to boost water storage and agricultural activities in the country.
  • This is an 8% increase from the previous year when 67% work was devoted to this sector.
  • In terms of funds, 74% of MGNREGS funds have been earmarked for water management this year, up from 63% last year.
  • The Centre has also targeted completing one million natural resource management (NRM) projects linked to water during its first 100 days. These projects include both individual and community assets such as farm ponds, dug wells, check dams and trenches.
  • Emphasis of MGNREGS is especially geared on water conservation in the states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand.

Looming Water Crisis:

  • India has only 4% of the world’s water resources and 16% of the global population, according to the National Water Policy 2012.
  • The country’s per capita availability of usable fresh water is about 1,123 cubic metres, down from about 4,000 cubic metres in 1947, and against the current global average of 3,000 cubic metres.
  • According to McKinsey, India will be one of the largest centres of agricultural demand for water by 2030. This will require a doubling of its usable water generation. About 90% of India’s available water goes into agriculture, according to government data.