The National Democratic Alliance government has asked states to emulate the Gujarat water management model to address the problem of water scarcity.The Centre has forwarded a compact disc received from Gujarat government's Water and Sanitation Management Organisation on the subject "The state-wide water supply grid" to the states to study how the Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled state managed the problem of water scarcity.
"The CD gives an experience of the Gujarat government in development of a statewide grid for ensuring water supply to the state," said an official in the ministry of drinking water and sanitation.
According to a top Gujarat government official, the state faces scarcity of water in certain regions that are arid and receive less rainfall. Gujarat Water Supply Department Principal Secretary Rajiv Kumar Gupta says that almost 70 per cent of Gujarat's fresh water resources are located only in 30 per cent of its geographical area restricted to the state's southern parts.
"Frequent droughts accentuate this scarcity of water in the state. The state thus undertook a sustainable measure to combat this problem by developing a 'state-wide water supply grid'," says Gupta said in an article carried in www.narendramodi.in.
The water supply grid consists of water supply schemes based in Narmada and other regional water supply schemes. "With this grid, the government is able to supply water to far-off places through an inter-basin bulk water transfer. This is an enormous project, with a spread of 1,20,769 km. It aims to serve 75 per cent of Gujarat's population," says the official.
According to Gupta, late arrival of monsoons in 2012 and scarce rainfall accentuated the water scarcity in the state. Gujarat had recorded 798 mm rainfall, only 72 per cent of its annual rainfall, and in this scenario, it was the statewide water supply grid that helped the entire state supplement its water needs.
"It became a lifeline for drinking water supply to the regions of Kutch and Saurashtra, as the revolutionary water supply grid remained the only source of drinking water supply in the region," says the official.