If I am in power, I will take the following steps to over come the impact of drought,
- Not only remove all restrictions on digging bore wells but will also encourage and assist people to dig bore wells. Ground water level will go down but this does not matter, as when it rains the water level will automatically come up. Government will also dig bore wells near water bodies like lakes, canals etc.
- Wherever and whenever it is possible, artificial rain(cloud seeding) will be tried.
- Water areas like wells, rivers, lakes, canals, water passages will be dredged which may lead to more ground water
- farmers will be advised to refrain from planting crops like paddy which require a lot of water and cultivate drought resistant crops like ragi
- Without any elaborate application from farmers, their lands will be provided with drip irrigation system and sprinkler irrigation system.
- Panchayat, municipal and corporation waste water will be treated and used for irrigation.
- As a long term measure, desalination plants will be established along the coast.
While the Government of India has a ministry for water resources, many state governments do not have separate ministries for irrigation or water resources. In some state governments, Public Works Department looks after irrigation. That too mainly on regulation like opening and closing of the dam water. It would be useful if each state government had a separate ministry for irrigation. In addition to constructing new dams and canals, this ministry should have the following responsibilities;
- Linking rivers in the state. There is no need to mix this issue with linking rivers of the country as a whole.
- Creating links among lakes and between lakes and rivers.
- Lake management including deepening lakes and continuously desilting them
- Creating new lakes to ensure that each village has a lake
- Water management including draining rain water in pits and other shallow water into the nearby lakes. Water left in pits evaporates and it does not recharge ground water.
- Keeping the lakes and rivers clean
- Cleaning waste water and then using the same for irrigation without letting into the lake. This will ensure that lake water is not contaminated and this water can be used for drinking after purification.
- Cleaning river banks and ensuring that no garbage is dumped there
- Sanctioning loans for digging irrigation wells including bore wells. If lakes have water, digging wells will not lower the water table. It is wrong to ban new bore wells, as was seriously thought of by government sometime ago.