In Rajasthan, several departments and agencies are involved in the development, use and monitoring of water resources. These include Irrigation Department (Now Water Resource department), Agriculture Department, Command Area Development Department, State Ground Water Department, Public Health Engineering Department, State Pollution Control Board, Department of Industries and Department of Environment and Forest. All these departments and agencies are working in their respective areas according to their mandates.
It was realized by the State Government that in the absence of regular coordination among the departments / agencies, the overall desired goal of integrated water resource planning and management will not be achieved.
The State Water Resources Planning Department (SWRPD) was created to achieve an integrated and multi-sectoral approach to the planning, development and use of the State’s Water Resources. It is the nodal agency entrusted with the task of state wide planning for water resources and assisting in development of water and water related policies and state wide water related awareness building programme framework. SWRPD is the pivotal agency in the water resources sector of the state. SWRPD considers both groundwater and surface water for integrated water planning.
Besides this it has to consider the requirements of water user departments, especially Public Health Engineering Department. SWRPD has to work closely with the disciplines such as environment, sociology, economics, People’s participation which have bearing on integrated water resource planning and policy. Hence, it requires coordinating and collating inter departmental information to build up comprehensive management information system for effective management of water resources in the state.
For management of Environmental issues separate units have been formed under SWRPD, and Irrigation Department.
The main objectives of the SWRPD department are:
§ To develop methodology for achievement of state water policy objectives.
§ Assure integrated and multi disciplinary planning and implementation of all surface and groundwater development activities.
§ To work for achieving judicious water allocation to all stakeholders in accordance with the state water policy , and for establishing a proper regulating mechanism for efficient water use in the state.
§ To enhance and encourage water conservation and efficient water use practices through participatory approach and promote water regulations with acceptable water pricing structures.
§ To facilitate public participation and NGO initiatives in water sector development.
§ To work for achievement of the minimum level of water availability and services with respect to time and quantity ensuring good water quality standards not only for the present generation but also for the generation to come.
§ To develop institutional mechanism for water planning and decision making involving all the stakeholder, to facilitate resolution of conflicts related to water issues and to advise on the of State Water Plan.
§ To collect data on water resource availability, use, quality and make them accessible to all, to promote sustainable development of water resources in the basins and sub basins of the state.
§ To promote awareness and understanding for economical and efficient use of water in drinking, industrial and agriculture use by spreading consciousness through training and use of mass media along with pilot demonstration projects etc.
§ To inform the statutory authorities charged with planning and utilization of natural resources, responding emergencies(floods and droughts), or establish sector policies plans or targets (such as agriculture, drinking water supply, energy, afforestation etc.) about the water resources implications or requirements for their plans, and policies.
To ensure well-coordinated and efficient decision making in planning, design, execution and operation and maintenance within government and private agencies working in water sector in Rajasthan.
Previous years’ achievements:
In the previous years, SWRPD was involved in almost every activity related to water planning, policy making activities, water management and various other activities. Some of the main activities that can be highlighted are
· Preparation of document of Environment Management Guidelines. Thereafter the document was approved from the World Bank and WRD, and it has been circulated to all stakeholder departments and WRD field units.
· A document of Field Operational Manual for Environment Management has been prepared by O/o Director Environment, ID&R WR Unit, Jaipur, which is under process of approval. This Manual has been compiled with the sole purpose of guiding the field staff of the Water Resources Department of Rajasthan in mainstreaming environmental management from planning to implementation in Water Sector. The Manual is prepared to include operational aspects of the Environmental Management in the Water Resources Projects, with special reference to the State of Rajasthan. All the necessary guidelines and formats have been included in the Manual to guide users who deal with the planning, designing, implementation, operation and maintenance of Water Resources Projects.
·State Water Policy was prepared by SWRPD in consultation with many water line departments like Water Resource Department, GWD, PHED, etc. various specialists, NGO’s and after several deliberations with and between higher officers of Government. Thereafter it was approved by State Government after several exercises on it and finally it was launched and released in February, 2010. The salient features of Rajasthan State Water Policy are
Ø Integrated Water Resource Management
Ø Prioritisation of water distribution in the descending order viz, drinking water for human beings and animals, domestic, commercial and municipal usages, agriculture, energy production, environmental usages, industries and other usages.
Ø Community participation to achieve the goals of Integrated Water Resource Management.
Ø Conjunctive use of water.
Ø Inter-departmental Information Management System to coordinate all departments so that water can be managed properly
Ø Dissemination of water related data to WUA’s, WUG’s and to stakeholders
Ø Legal enhancement of water related law.
Ø Capacity building of PRI’s, WUA’s, WUG’s and to stakeholders.
· Now Action Plan for implementation of State Water Policy is under process.
· To create mass awareness about IWRM concept at the village level, work has been started through NGO’s firms under EC-SPP project. Preparation of gram panchayat level IWRM plans in under progress in 82 blocks of 11 districts selected. Work of all three phases has already been started and is running under unit of SE (C&M), SWRPD.
· Several Training programs on Environmental Management of Water Resources have been organized at IMTI, Kota in previous years for environmental awareness of the staff of WRD, GWD and AD. Two programs on “Advance level Environment Management” were conducted; one at NEERI, Nagpur and another at HCMRIPA, Jaipur. The trainings on Environment Management are also being organised at IMTI, Kota as a regular feature.
· Basin Planning work was taken up along with staff from I.D. & R WR Unit, Jaipur
· The work of “Study on Planning of Water Resources of Rajasthan State” has been awarded to Tahal consultants and is in process through Water Planning unit of SWRPD. The study is scheduled to be completed by January, 2013.
· IEC related activities related to water sector were done through media like newspaper, Radio, TV and other ways etc. The programs were carried out under EC-SPP through CCDU.
· Rajiv Gandhi Water Management Mission: Rajiv Gandhi missions which were constituted earlier are reconstituted by decision of State Government. Five Missions were constituted out of which one is “Rajiv Gandhi water development and conservation mission”. The detailed action plan of implementation of Rajiv Gandhi Mission of water development and conservation has been prepared and sent to all concerned departments of the state. The plan is under implementation. Regular meetings of the mission are being held time to time Rajasthan regarding its monitoring. High power committee has also been formed under hon’ble Chief Secretary io attain the objectives of Mission
· Jal Abhiyan: A vigorous mission of Jal Chetna Yatra / Kisan Mahotsav was organised by SWRPD in all districts of Rajasthan with the help of all water line and many other departments of the state. The compaign work of Jal Abhiyan, was run through different water sector line departments such as WRD, PHED, GWD, Animal husbandary & Agriculture played role in spreading awareness about water management & related aspect. The R&D unit of SWRPD department worked as a nodel Agency of above compaign works. The aim of Jal Chetna Yatra was to create mass awareness among common masses with farmers as target groups. The campaign was launched on a very large scale throughout state involving almost every department into it. The water line departments played a key role in it. Various raths were run for a month showing messages of water conservation and management, nukkad nataks, ratri melas, camps etc. were organized. Media including newspaper, radio, tv’s were also used for mass campaigns.