The national average of per capita water availability is reducing due to the increase in population and it could decrease further in the next three decades, the government said Monday. In a written response to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Jal Shakti Rattan Lal Kataria said the national average of per capita annual water availability in the years 2001 and 2011 was assessed as 1,816 cubic meters and 1,545 cubic meters, respectively.
"This may further reduce to 1,486 cubic meters, 1,367 cubic meters, 1,282 cubic meters and 1,228 cubic meters in the years 2021, 2031, 2041 and 2051, respectively," he said. Noting that water is a state subject, Kataria said steps for augmentation, conservation and efficient management of water resources are primarily undertaken by the respective state governments.
In order to supplement the efforts of the state governments, the central government provides technical and financial assistance to them through various schemes and programs, he said. The central government has taken various steps to improve the water availability in the country, the minister added.
Replying to another question on water scarcity in the country, he said last month the Centre held a meeting of state ministers in charge of water resources, water supply, and sanitation to review the steps taken by them on water conservation and implementation of action plans to deal with water supply situation, plan for water harvesting and conservation in convergence with other programs. "The need to integrate various water conservation efforts like point recharge, desilting of minor irrigation tanks, use of greywater for agriculture and ensuring the sustainability of the sources was discussed. State governments were requested to complete water conservation measures so that large-scale rainwater harvesting could be possible in the upcoming monsoon season," Kataria said.
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