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Water - a major future problem in Jharkhand

The growth and development of agriculture and allied sectors in Jharkhand faces a serious problem of scarcity and contamination of surface and ground water due to domestic and industrial waste, according to the Jharkhand Economic Survey 2010-11.

As per the survey, the acute shortage of irrigation water and shrinking watershed areas in forest regions poses additional problems.

The survey said surface water for agriculture was not sufficient due to inadequate storage facilities and ground water availability was poor due to little recharging through natural processes and the absence of artificial recharging facilities.

"As a result, the water level in the plateau is going down," said the survey.

The state government is implementing several schemes to reduce the adverse effect of water scarcity like rain water harvesting, enhancing the efficiency of the canal irrigation system, ground water management and watershed management.

"Water is the most critical resource and is expected to become scarce in future with further demand from households, industries and agricultural sectors," the report said.

Suggesting watershed development, it said apart from government, community participation, NGOs and financing agencies were essential for proper management of watershed development.

Incentives and benefits were important for successful implementation of the programme and there should be credible mechanism for equitable sharing of these benefits.

"Mechanism should be developed to convert social benefits to private benefits and be equally distributed," the survey report said.

The state is currently reeling under severe drought after two consecutive years of poor monsoon.


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