Water Resource Vision 2045
To achieve the objective of sustainable development of water resources and optimum utilisation of this scarce and precious natural resources our vision for the year 2045 regarding water sector is :
Present Status of Development and Challenges for Water Sector
Objective of Water Resource Vision 2045
Critical Review of Earlier Policies
Major Thrust Areas of State Water Policy, Actions Initiated and Future Action Plan
Water is universally accepted as a symbol of life as it is the most crucial for maintaining an environment and ecosystem conducive to sustaining all forms of life. It plays a vital role not only in fulfilling basic human need for life and health but in socio-economic development also. The demands for drinking, domestic activities, livestock, agriculture, industries, power generation and other uses are all increasing to meet the requirements of increasing population and also to cater for the enhanced per capita requirement due to rise in living standard. Irrigation, the largest water user sector, is feeling the pressure of increasing demands of other user sectors all over the world because of limited fresh water availability. On the other hand the need to increase agricultural production, for which also water is the most critical input, to meet the food and fiber requirement of increasing population is equally important.
The available surface and ground water resources, part of a larger ecological system, are renewable but limited. India has 16% of the world population where as the water resources are only 4%. Even with all the planning and development, at the end of the 20th century, the country has not even been able to provide safe drinking water to all. The water sector is facing a number of challenges regarding availability, accessibility, use and sustainability of its fresh water resources.
Further, the distribution of water in the country is highly uneven over space and time. Unfortunately Rajasthan is the driest state in the country and is water scarce (having per capita water availability below 1000 m3/year) since 1991. Figure-1 depicts the comparative statistics of the State and the country which highlights the precarious situation the state has to face regarding water availability. With prevailing high growth rate of population the per capita water availability is going to further reduce to alarmingly low levels implying that the challenges for water sector are much more and severe in the State.
Present Status of Development and Challenges for Water Sector
The importance of water in the State was recognised even during the pre independence period and the old tradition of water conservation and harvesting is reflected in numerous old structures like Tankas, Khadins, Johads, Bawaries etc. Irrigation facilities were limited at the time of independence, and there were 1 major, 43 medium and 2272 minor projects in the State with irrigation potential of only 4 lac ha. After independence special impetus was given to development of water resources as can be seen from Plate-3 showing development of irrigation in the State. At present there are 104 major and medium irrigation projects and 4786 minor irrigation projects in the State and the irrigation potential created has increased to 28.12 lac ha.
Thus, substantial development in water resources sector, considering the financial, geographical and hydrological constraints, has been made and the irrigation potential created has increased by more than 7 times to 5.64 % of the country's total potential as against 2.46 % at the time of independence. But in spite of this it has not been possible to keep pace with population growth, increasing requirements, and technological changes. Some of the main challenges being faced by the water sector, as listed below, clearly indicate that a lot more is to be done for integrated water resources development and management.
Objective of Water Resource Vision 2045
To face these challenges successfully and for integrated water resources development and its optimum utilisation radical changes in approach, planning and technology after a critical review of earlier and existing policies is needed. The State of Rajasthan has adopted the State Water Policy in 1999 to address the problems facing the water sector supported by a long term State Water Plan with planning horizon extending up-to the year 2045. has also been formulated.
Water Resource Vision 2045 has been prepared to highlight the short term (upto 2015) and long term (upto-2045) thrust areas and action plan which are pre-requisites for successful implementation of the State Water Policy and Plan and achieving the objective of optimum use of every drop of scarce and precious utilisable water resource. It is also envisaged that its periodical review and evaluation would help timely refinement/modification of the policy, thrust areas and the action plan to achieve the objectives of the State Water Policy.
There are 14 defined river basins in the State but Chambal and Mahi are the only perennial rivers. 'Aravali' mountain range divides the state into two distinct physiographies i.e. Eastern & Western Rajasthan. The area West of Aravali, mainly forms part of the Great Thar Desert" with average rainfall of 318.7 mm (designated as basin no. 15). The Eastern part is comparatively humid and rainfall ranges between 400 to 1000 mm (average 688.7 mm). The average rainfall for the State is about 570 mm. The river basins and the rain isohytel lines are shown in Plate 1.
The State Water Resources Plan has been prepared on scientific basis using the data available up-to the year 1993.
According to the simulation studies carried out for each basin the total internal surface water resources in the State have been estimated as 21.71 BCM (17.6 MAF) at 50% dependability as against 19.56 BCM (15.86 MAF) estimated earlier. The water availability at 75% dependability is only 14.12 BCM (11.45 MAF). However, the economically utilisable surface water as per present situation at 50% dependability is estimated as 16.05 BCM (13.02 MAF). Apart from this, the total external surface water resources from other States, under various inter-state agreements, are 17.88 BCM (14.5 MAF). It has been assessed that mean annual natural replenishable ground water is 7.413 BCM ( 6.01 MAF) and total 10.09 BCM ( 8.18 MAF) of ground water including return flows from irrigated areas, urban and other water utilisation sectors is available in the State.
Estimating future demands is of prime importance for any planning effort. The study got carried out for State Water Plan has projected the non agricultural demands of water to increase from 3.29 BCM (2.66 MAF)/year (at 1995 level) to 5.05 BCM(4.09 MAF) in the year 2015 and 8.07 BCM(6.541 MAF)/year in the year 2045. If all the 136 Lac ha of irrigable land is irrigated the agricultural water requirement will be about 100 BCM (81.07 MAF), which obviously is not available. Considering the water availability and proposed projects irrigation in 51.25 lac ha. of CCA has been planned and proposed in the State Water Plan.
The actually irrigated area may fall short of total CCA and the potentially irrigable area (assessed at 25% dependability) may be only 46.63 lac ha. This is subjected to implementation of the State Water Plan which envisages implementation of all possible water resources development plans, conjunctive use of surface and ground water, optimum efficiency for utilization of water by all sectors by the year 2045.
Critical Review of Earlier Policies
Planning and policy formulation is a dynamic process and for any policy to be successful a regular review and timely refinement/modification is necessary. At the time of independence the existence of water resources sector infrastructure was negligible and there were very few major or large size water resources development projects. Therefore, the main thrust of the policy makers in the post independence era was towards construction of new projects and facilities. The water rates were highly subsidised during that period as increasing agricultural production for self reliance was the main target. But in quest for creating more and more facilities of large size, the consolidation of created facilities by proper maintenance and management and through smaller water harvesting structures got neglected. Further, the Water Resources Development Departments' main job centered around construction of new projects.
The increased food production as a result of green revolution in seventies probably made the planners complacent and the allocation to irrigation sector gradually reduced to such an extent that on one side the project completion periods started increasing, resulting in high cost and time over runs and on the other side the maintenance of existing facilities started getting deferred due to non availability of funds. In eighties the gap between the potential created and utilised, widened. The deteriorated condition of facilities created got noticed and drew attention of planners. The thrust area of planning changed and shifted to modernisation and rehabilitation of project. But this shift also neglected the basic concept of management and involvement of users and the activities more or less revolved around construction activities renovation and lining of distribution systems.
The environmental and financial sustainability of the water resources was not given its due importance. Thus, it is evident that the review and evaluation of results were not given priority and the reaction time was too long for refinement and modification of the policy. In 1987 the National Water Policy addressing most of the problems of water sector was declared but again its percolation to the States took long time delaying its implementation. The problems being faced by the water sector in the country as a whole and the State of Rajasthan in particular clearly indicate that a radical change in policy and implementation methodology was required.
The State of Rajasthan adopted the National Water Policy in December, 1989 and soon after the process of Study for preparation of State Water Policy and Plan was started and was commissioned in the year 1994.
Major Thrust Areas of State Water Policy, Actions Initiated and Future Action Plan
The Government of Rajasthan has recently adopted the State Water Policy, keeping in view the provisions contained in the National Water Policy and the specific conditions and problems of the State. The policy addresses all the issues for maximum development and optimum utilisation of scarce water resources in the State. The problems being faced by the State and the future scenario with a long term vision up-to 2045 - emphasises the need of time-bound action plan for successful implementation of the State Water Policy and the Plan. The plan is based on some assumptions/projections regarding the development of water resources and the utilisation efficiencies. Some important projections assumptions and results of the study at the four planning stages are presented in Plate-4. An analysis of these clearly shows that a lot has to be achieved in the next 45 years e.g. the surface water utilisation has to be increased by 60% from present utilisation of about 10 BCM, distribution system efficiency has to be increased to 74% from present estimated efficiency of 54%, average on-farm irrigation efficiency has to be significantly increased to about 70% from present estimated efficiency of below 27 %.
If we fail to implement the plan in terms of water resources development and management, the non-agricultural water demands, which are related to population and to some extent industrial growth, expected to more than double in the next 45 years, will have to be first fulfilled which will reduce the irrigation water availability and the irrigation in projected area will not be achieved and may significantly reduce. If a hypothetical assumption of present state of development and management to continue is made than in the year 2045 the present irrigated area will further reduce by 28 % where as the population would increase by 88%. It also highlights the needs of sustainability of water resources, especially the water quality, to meet the future drinking water and irrigation requirements.
A concise summary of the thrust areas of the State Water Policy and Plan to mitigate and/or solve the main water resources development and management problems in Rajasthan, actions initiated and proposed action plan is as follows:
6.1 Water Availability and Demand
The projections of availability of water and the demands of different water user sectors is the basic requirement of water resources planning process. The first step of making a scientific and rational projection of water availability, both surface and ground, has been taken by the State through preparation of State Water Plan and following future actions will be taken.
The water availability projections, though made using modern and scientific technology, are based on available data and certain assumptions. It will be ensured that all the data is regularly updated every year/season.
The demand estimates are based on population projections and other rational and logical assumptions of demand growth which will also be reviewed and refined regularly.
The work of further refining the assessment of water resources and demands and the State Water Plan will be done periodically by the multi disciplinary specialised and adequately trained State planning organisation proposed to be created for integrated planning of water resources, inter sectoral allocation and implementation of State Water Policy. First refinement will be completed by end of the year 2005. Subsequent refinements and updating of State Water Plan will be carried out every 10 years i.e in the years 2015 and 2025.
Detailed review and revision of the plan will be done in the year 2035 and finally preparation of a revised State Water Plan for next 50 years will be commenced in the year 2043 to be completed by the year 2045.
Effciency of Water Supply and Use
It is an unpleasant truth that water availability in the State is limited and inadequate emphasising that optimum utilization of water is equally or even more important than development of water resources. Even after a hypothetical consideration that all utilisable water resources are developed, Rajasthan is still a water scarce state, according to the international classification, as the annual per capita availability of water in the state is only 857 m3 (below 1000 m3). However, if only harnessed water is considered the per capita availability is only 600 m3. Further, with increasing population the scarcity will go on increasing and the per capita water availability in the State will be as low as 457 m3 by year 2045. In the year 2045 even with all the development and increase in efficiency envisaged in the plan, after meeting the non- agricultural demands, water would be available to irrigate only about 46 lac ha out of total irrigable area of 136 lac ha (only 30%). In less than normal rainfall years the situation would be much more critical. This emphasises the need of giving highest priority to increase efficiency of water use and supply both. The main thrust areas of action and the future action plan is as under :
Participatory Approach in rehabilitation and modernisation of existing projects and their future maintenance and management
Participatory Irrigation Management is one of the most important concept for future which will go a long way in improving the efficiency and management of the irrigation systems.
There is vast scope of increasing the efficiency, of existing irrigation projects both on and off farm, which can not be achieved without the active participation of end users. This aspect is being given due attention and WUAs on pilot basis have been formed on number of projects by the Irrigation Department and Command Area Development & Water Utilisation Department. In proposed Rajasthan Water Sector Restructuring Project (RWSRP), this is one of the most crucial and important component. The following further actions are envisaged.
Rajasthan Farmers Participation in Management of Irrigation System" Act and Rules for formation and functioning of Farmers' Organisation (FOs) will be enacted by end of the year 2000.
A massive awareness and communication programme to disseminate information, to educate and to create public support for formation of Farmer's Organisations will be designed and implemented by March 2001.
The Farmer's Organisations, at least in the 5 lac ha area to be covered by RWSRP will be formed before end of the year 2001 out of total irrigated area of 28.1 lac ha.
By the year 2005 the Farmers oganisations in remaining irrigated areas will be formed.
Efforts will be made to create autonomous Appex Committees at district level to fully takeover the irrigation projects. Pilot projects for it will be taken up after completion of the proposed RWSRP in some selected projects on basis of performance of the Farmers Organisations formed.
Rehabilitation and Modernisation of Existing Projects
The rehabilitation and modernisation of existing projects is being given priority to improve the hydraulic flow conditions and to reduce losses to achieve the designed efficiency of water distribution. Principally lining of existing canals in projects will be proposed only after a critical examination of the proposal and other alternative of conjunctive use. More stress will be given to bring back the canal system to its designed parameters and efficiency with minimum possible investment. The participation of beneficiary farmers, which is essential for its success, will be made obligatory. The proposed RWSRP is the first major step in this direction under which rehabilitation and modernisation of 94 major, medium and minor projects covering 5 lac ha. Total 2 lac farmers will benefit and additional 80 thousand ha is envisaged to be irrigated annually. The future action plan consists of:
The preparation, appraisal and sanction of RWSRP will be the top priority and concerted efforts will be made to get it sanctioned from the World Bank by end of the financial year 2000-2001.
Timely implementation of the project and better quality of work will be ensured by rigorous monitoring using modern techniques, equipment and software, institutional support and exercising effective control.
The canal systems of the projects under RWSRP or part there-of will be maintained by the FOs . Since beginning coordination and association of the department officials and the FOs will be fostered to ensure that the systems are maintained properly and the requirement for rehabilitation of the system is not repeated in future and optimum distribution efficiency is achieved.
Prioritisation of remaining rehabilitation and modernisation projects identified in the State Plan will be reviewed and the project profiles with required investment and benefits will be finalised by the year 2005 for arranging finance.
Improvement in Water Use Efficiencies
Low efficiency of water utilisation is prevalent in the agricultural as well as the domestic and industrial water consumption sectors also. High priority should be given to the introduction of water saving devices and practices. Agriculture sector is the largest water user sector using more than 90% of the water and it is assessed that the present efficiency of utilisation in medium and minor surface water irrigation project commands is less than 30%. With modern irrigation techniques like sprinkler and drip, which have efficiencies as high as 70-75% and above 90% respectively, the over all efficiency can be easily increased significantly. The action plan for increasing field application efficiency is as under:
To educate the public about scarce availability, dangers to its sustainability and other water related issues, awareness and communication programme through print and electronic media will be designed and implemented by end of Year 2001. The stress will be for optimum utilisation of every drop of available water for achieving maximum benefit and also to conserve water for our children and future generations.
Scientific water management, farm practices and sprinkler and drip system of irrigation will be encouraged. Intensive agriculture extension programme will be launched in collaboration with agriculture department through the FOs formed in the area covered by RWSRP in the first phase with a target to have sprinkler or drip irrigation in at least 0.5 lac ha out of total command area of 5 lac ha before completion of the project.
Intensive extension programme will be extended through the FOs formed in the remaining command areas in the next phase with a target to have sprinkler or drip irrigation in at least 0.2 lac ha additional area every year to achieve a target of having pressure irrigation in at least 20% of the irrigated area in the State by the year 2045.
An expert committee will be formed to examine and submit report by end of 2005 (when many FOs would be in position and significant area would be under pressure irrigation) about the possibility and ways of making pressure irrigation compulsory by delivering water in field ponds or at least finding ways to encourage it by incentives/subsidies or by according preference in taking up a project on priority.
Based on recommendations of this committee action about drip and sprinkler irrigation in future new projects will be decided and implemented.
Deficit Irrigation is another method which can be adopted where water availability is low as even with marginal reduction in the yield per unit area, the total yield and profits are higher as more area are covered. In agriculture sector the aim has to be to maximise yields per unit of water. The concept of deficit irrigation i.e. intentionally providing predetermined less quantity of water than the total requirement of that particular crop, introduced and used in the State Water Plan, will be further developed, studied and researched for maximizing agricultural production per unit of water.
6.3 Maximum Development of Surface Water Resources
As 80-90% of rainfall occurs in 3 monsoon months and the variation is so large that only 16.05 BCM ( 13.02 MAF) out of the total 21.71 BCM ( 17.6 MAF) surface water resources are economically utilisable in the present situation. 10.09 BCM (8.19 MAF) of surface water has already been harnessed by existing projects, and 1.85 BCM (1.5 MAF) is expected to be harnessed by ongoing schemes. For utilising the balance 4.11 BCM (3.33 MAF) 50 major and medium and 4557 minor projects have been identified in the State Water Plan and following future action plan will be followed for their implementation.
Prioritisation of Development Plans
The prioritisation criteria developed in State Plan for different types of projects will be reviewed and finalised by end of the year 2000 after giving due weight/consideration to areas where water availability is in excess of the storage capacities already created. Project reports and detailed design of all the proposed projects in the State Water Plan will be prepared by the year 2010 in a phased manner. Presuming that all the development plans have to be implemented by 2045 a tentative programme for implementation will be prepared for project construction.
Project Planning, Preparation and Implementation
The preparation of feasibility and detailed project reports for new development projects will be so planned that at any time after the year 2005 there will be projects ready for possible implementation in next 5 years. In future projects following additional concepts will invariably be incorporated:
Drainage to be integral part of the project for preventing rise in water table.
Conjunctive use of surface and ground to be planned from the beginning and computing the water requirement accordingly.
Drinking water requirement of the command and nearby area to be considered and reserved wherever required.
Minimum flow downstream of storage project to be ensured.
Comprehensive watershed management, including afforestation and soil conservation in basins where the flow regime has not stablised to be considered for reducing siltation of dams and flow peaks.
Pressure irrigation in reasonable percentage of area to be decided for each project separately will be considered since beginning to compute the water requirement and irrigation intensity.
Implementation programme of projects will be based on principals of completion of ongoing projects first, selection of new projects with assured funding and time bound construction only instead of thin spreading of finances. Detailed investigation and designs in advance, to avoid delay and quality assurance for safe structures, will be given due importance.
Inter-basin Water Transfer Projects
The water planning should be above all geographical boundaries for overall welfare of the country as recognised in the National Water Policy. Rajasthan is a state which has to depend on water from other outside state basins and is striving hard to get share in surplus water in other outside state basins for which more efforts will be made. Special attention will be given to get a share in the surplus Ganga waters for which the State has presented a requirement of 45.8 BCM (37.14 MAF) for providing irrigation to a CCA of 41.5 lac ha.
The suggestion of State Plan for exchanging of surplus water flowing out of the state because of its being at lower levels with water available in other states at a higher elevation will be discussed and negotiated with the concerned states.
Planning and implementation of Inter-basin transfer projects within the state from surplus Chambal basin to Banas and from Mahi and Sabarmati basins to Luni Basin will be taken up on priority and the feasibility studies will be completed by the year 2005.
Traditional Rainwater Harvesting and Conservation
The concept of water conservation/harvesting being practiced since ages in form of Tankas in the homes, Bawaries in the mohallas, Khadins , Johads and Tank in every village for storage of the precious water for drinking as well as agriculture purposes will be revived and encouraged. Special attention to it is being given and the more efforts for continuing the process and mobilisation of funds will be made. Possibility of participation of NGOs and private sector will also be explored and implemented.
Utilisation of Treated Waste Water
Uncontrolled wastewater disposal from urban and industrial centers is a waste of reusable water and also poses a serious health hazard and an environmental nuisance. Plans will be prepared for the utilisation of treated sewage, which is the most reliable source of water, for irrigation of non-edible crops. The recycling of treated water in industries and its treatment to the desired level so as not to affect quality of water will be ensured through vigilance, monitoring of water quality and co- ordination with State Pollution Control Board. Special attention will be given to cities and towns where industrial growth is significant like Pali, Bhilwara, Balotra, Udaipur, Kota etc.
6.4 Management and Control of Groundwater
It has been assessed that mean annual natural replenishable ground water is 7.41 BCM (6.01 MAF) against which the utilization /drawl is 10.79 BCM (8.756 MAF). Though total 10.09 BCM (8.18 MAF) of ground water including return flows from irrigated areas, urban and other water utilisation sectors is available but still the exploitation is highly imbalanced. In some areas, specially in irrigation project commands, the water table is rising and even causing water logging. Simultaneously in other areas the water table is falling and threatening the groundwater quality. Out of total 31 districts in the State 3 are in critical category, 5 are in semi -critical category and 3 fall in over exploited category. Thus there is immediate need to control over exploitation of groundwater in dark and gray zones and to increase abstraction in areas where water table is rising through legislation or incentives/disincentives. The proposed legislation regarding groundwater utilisation is under consideration of the Government and needs to be ratified and implemented as soon as possible. In addition following actions are envisaged.
To educate the public about situation of groundwater and implications of continuing such uncontrolled exploitation and to explain the need to manage it for its sustainability. A mass awareness and communication programme through print / electronic or any other media will be designed and implemented by end of Year 2001. Special attention will be given to areas identified under critical, semi-critical and over exploited categories in close coordination with the Rajasthan Ground Water Department (RGWD).
Efforts will be made to develop control of society on groundwater abstraction and management for safe-guarding their own interest and future. In commands of irrigation projects the FOs can be the social group for this purpose. This approach will be followed in RWSRP.
Conjunctive use of ground and surface water in canal command areas needs to be practiced to prevent water-logging of productive lands and also for sustainability of groundwater. Institutional coordination and involvement of farming communities is a prerequisite for its success. It will also be taken up first in RWSRP in coordination with the RGWD to be followed in other command areas as per programme for formation of FOs.
Artificial recharge of ground water through all possible methods, to be identified for different areas where groundwater is being overexploited in collaboration with RGWD by 2002 based on the State Water Plan and other studies carried out, will be taken up on priority.
6.5 Creation and Development of Data Base and Information System
The data base developed for the State Water Plan should become the central data storage, retrieval and processing tool for Rajasthan water sector. It should be updated, upgraded, expanded and should be made easily accessible to all users and planners through a scientifically designed Management Information System (MIS). Standard coding and classification will be used for convenient exchange of data.
A study for modernisation of the hydro-meteorological observation was conducted and its recommendations for installation of necessary modern equipment are under implementation. The data collected, transmitted and stored in the database and will be analyzed and used to upgrade the water availability estimates and re-calibration of models etc.
A study for creating a modern and efficient MIS has been conducted and implementation of the system will be made one of the project component of RWSRP.
6.6 Financial Management and Sustainability
The limited financial resources of the State, reducing allocation to irrigation sector, increasing establishment cost, price escalation, increasing fund requirements for O&M of enhanced facilities etc. have not allowed to take up new projects as per programme and plan. This has resulted in cost and time over-run of projects and also delayed the benefits.
As per the preliminary estimates of State Water Plan about Rs 10500 crores is required for improvement of existing projects and construction of planned projects. Another Rs 4500 crores would be required for inter basin transfer projects. For completion of ongoing projects also about Rs. 8484 crores (including IGNP & CAD) would be required. Thus, the total requirement of funds, for irrigation sector including irrigation, IGNP and CAD in next 45 years, for completing all developments by the year 2045 as envisaged in the State Plan, works out to about Rs 522 Crores per year. In addition the present O&M requirement, though not being provided, is also about 140 crores per year. Mobilisation of such large resources is a challenge for which following action plan will be followed:
Financial Resources, within the country, are being mobilised for implementation of new water resources development plans through NABARD in addition to the State's own resources and various GOI programmes. Presently about Rs. 200 crores per year is being mobilised through NABARD and efforts will be made to increase it to about Rs. 300 crores per year.
Mobilisation of funds is also being tried to be arranged from international financial institutions and development agencies like World Bank, KFW, EEC, OECF and SIDA. Rs 100 crore Dam Safety Phase II Project and Rs 2000 crores RWSRP have been agreed for funding by the World Bank and are in advance stage of preparation. All efforts will be made to get these cleared by the year 2001. Efforts will be made to mobilise funds from other agencies.
The Nohar Sidhmukh Project, costing Rs. 170 crores, is being financed by the EEC. Construction of Sidhmukh & Ratanpura Distributory has been sanctioned with financing from NABARD. Efforts for similar joint funding will be made for other possible projects in the area.
Phase II of the Minor Irrigation Project, costing Rs. 65 crores, by KFW assistance is under consideration and will be rigorously pursued.
There are other big projects like Narmada, Gang Canal Modernisation, Rajasthan Minor Irrigation Project for which financial resources will have to be mobilised / tied up. Special efforts for it will be made.
Private sector participation in development of water resources will have to be encouraged and ensured for long term financial sustainability of the water sector. This has to start with water treatment, drinking water and/or irrigation projects or part of big projects. A theme paper will be prepared and strategy for private sector partition will be developed by the year 2001.
Increasing water rates, handing over part of the system to FOs and reducing cost of O&M by increasing efficiency of the department will be simultaneously attempted for O&M funding.
It is targeted that by the year 2010 the State will not have to bear any cost of O&M of the facilities created, except the head-works or large size main canals/feeders. The water rates have been too low and highly subsidised since long. Though the water rates have been doubled recently but these are still inadequate and do not reflect the economic price and the scarcity value of water. There is also no incentive for efficient use of water in the present price structure and also there is no linkage of cost recovery with quality of service. A thorough revision of current rates, at least to cover the O&M cost, and linking the cost recovery with quality of service (by ensuring that the water charges collected are used for improvement of that system only) is a high priority prerequisite to the improvement of the overall performance of both the agricultural and the urban water sectors. The water rates to achieve the target of at least recovering the O&M cost of irrigation facilities will be gradually / periodically enhanced.
Charging for water on volumetric basis and progressively increasing water rates (for volume of water per ha of irrigated area) to encourage efficient use of water is the ultimate aim for which concerted efforts will be made. Initially the FOs formed will be supplied water on a volumetric basis and than gradually the pricing structure will be changed.
6.7 Environmentally Sustainable Development of water Resources
Like any human activity, water projects also have both beneficial and detrimental effects on environment. A State level sectoral environment assessment for assessing the positive and negative impacts of the water resources development projects has been done. The need is to mitigate the problems identified and to develop future water resources with least social and environmental disturbance. Regular monitoring and review is equally important for environmental sustainability. The following actions will be taken for environmental sustainability.
In preparation of new development plans special attention will be paid to environmental considerations and the alternative with minimum environmental and social disturbance will be selected for implementation.
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) at the time of planning of projects and detailed Environmental Management Plan (EMP) at the time of taking up of a project to mitigate the negative impacts will be prepared and implemented.
The drainage of command area and ensuring minimum flow downstream will be made obligatory for future projects.
A comprehensive Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy for persons displaced due to water resources development projects will be adopted by the end of year 2000.
The major environmental problems identified are water logging and / or salinity in some parts of IGNP / Gang/ Bhakra areas and depletion of ground water resources in areas downstream of dam sites. Plan to mitigate these problems will be prepared and implemented.
Internal project level environmental assessment and monitoring for larger projects will be regularly done and a report will be published every five years.
6.8 Institutional and Legal Support
Many of the proposed activities and recommendations of the State Water Plan are new and unconventional. These also involve modern technologies and sometime may require innovative approach. Therefore adequate institutional and legal support for implementation will be required. A study for institutional strengthening was conducted and action for its implementation has been initiated. Institutional strengthening and reform is a continuous process and will be continued. Special efforts will be made to bring about the following changes in the department through proper infrastructure development, strengthening, re-organisation, training and orientation of human resources:
Encouraging research activities especially in evapo-retardants, increasing or substantiating capacities of existing reservoirs, deficit irrigation, cheaper techniques for pressure irrigation and volumetric measurement, operation and management of canal systems etc.
Modernisation of the department for use of latest available techniques likes GIS, MIS, Satellite Imageries, Computers etc.
The institutional reforms and restructuring will continue to have a unified Water Resources Organisation and river basin units/sub-units in the long term but the following institutional changes are considered essential and urgent:
Formation of a Central Planning Organisation for integrated development of surface and ground water resources including drainage and flood control and inter-sectoral water allocations. Monitoring of implementation of State Water Policy can also be done by this organisation.
Creating a separate organisation for Inter- State matters to regularly watch the interest of the State, to keep vigilance over the activities of neighboring states, to monitor water allocation and supplies in accordance to the agreements, to carry out initial negotiations for suggested interchanging of surplus water flowing down at a higher elevation and continuous pursuance and follow up of pending Inter-state matters.
Formation of a special cell for identifying and recommending needed administrative reforms based on the recommendations and conclusions of the State Plan and other studies got carried out by the department.
CCreation of special cell for mobilization of funds which can create a 'project bank' to suit all types of financing agencies. The task of mobilising private sector participation can also be assigned to this cell.
Creation of a separate cell for motivating farmers for formation of WUAs and provide them necessary assistance. This cell can start working in areas proposed to be covered in Rajasthan Water Sector Restructuring Project.
Restructuring of existing design wing to perform function of approval and designs of medium and minor irrigation projects efficiently.
Strengthen and support the Panchayati Raj and Rural Development Department, which now hold responsibility to maintain small irrigation projects having CCA up-to 80 ha.
Creation of a special unit for monitoring, evaluation and review of ongoing project progress and performance of existing projects.
The following legal support is considered essential:
New Acts for Groundwater Management and Control and Rajasthan Farmers Participation in Management of Irrigation System will be introduced and implemented
Flood Plain Zoning and Water Zoning of the State as per recommendations of the State Water Plan will be completed by the year 2005.
Other existing laws and rules will be reviewed in light of the recommendations of the State Water Policy and Plan and necessary changes/modifications will be completed by the year 2001.
6.9 Monitoring, Evaluation and Review
Regular monitoring, analysis and evaluation, review and timely refinement/change/modification is the key for success of any policy or implementation programme. Suitable mechanism to monitor the State Water Policy and implementation of action plan as presented will be developed. In additional regular monitoring of ongoing projects to ensure time bound construction and also evaluation of performance of existing projects regarding their efficiency and environmental sustainability will be carried out.
The problem faced by the water sector in the State are many, acute and serious. The implementation of the envisioned action plan will enable the department to meet the challenges, present in future, and achieve the objective of integrated, efficient, environmentally and financially sustainable development and the management of the scarce water resources of the State and at the same time ensure optimal utilization of every drop of water, through water conservation, increased distribution efficiency and use of water saving devices and practices leading to an efficient, scientific, innovative, transparent and responsive irrigation department. The water sector would then be able to accelerate economic growth of the state.