GUWAHATI, Sept 27 - The Union Government is looking into ways to make the Brahmaputra Board more effective. It is also examining the prospective role of the Board if the proposed North East Water Management Authority (NEWMA) comes into being.
These were the statements made by UP Singh, Secretary to the Union Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR). He was inaugurating a day-long seminar on synergy among organisations working in water resources sector in the northeastern region organised by the Brahmaputra Board at the Academic Staff College here today.
He claimed that the Union government is serious in matters of management of water resources of the Northeast. But it is high time to go for out of the box ideas in this area, he said, adding that in Sikkim spring water has been used for irrigating the farmlands. Madhya Pradesh is irrigating its farmlands in a manner that it had not been depending on large dam projects for the purpose, he said.
The MoWR under its National Hydrology Project (NHP) is collecting data and developing a decision-making system to extend support to the states in matters of water resources management and the problems like flood, by making all the relevant data available on a single platform, he said.
The Central Water Commission (CWC) has now collaborated with Google to make forecasts on the calamities like flood at least 72 hours ahead of their occurrence. Efforts are also there to prepare inundation maps with information concerning the flow of water on the river channels at a given moment, Singh said.
He warned that failure to manage the rivers properly may turn many rivers of the country into myths as had happened in the case of the Saraswati river.
The MoWR Secretary maintained that India is now a water-stressed country and it extracts 25 per cent of the world groundwater reserve. States like Haryana and Punjab extract 150 per cent of the groundwater reserve, he said, adding if this rate of extraction of the groundwater continues, the aquifer will get dry in some of the states of the country in the coming days.