NABARD launches Water Conservation Campaign

Bhubaneswar: NABARD today announced the launch of a major Water Conservation Campaign covering around one lakh villages in vulnerable and water stressed areas of the country during the current year.

The campaign, launched on the occasion of the World Water Day, would target more specifically areas where the ground water is over exploited, NABARD officials said.

In Odisha, the formal launching of the campaign was done by Dr K C Panigrahi, Chief General Manager, NABARD, Odisha Regional Office here at a function which was attended among others by Dr S K Ambast, Director, Indian Institute of Water Management, Bhubaneswar.

A similar campaign was undertaken last year covering 40,000 villages in the country. The campaign received encouraging response at field level, they said.

Dr Panigrahi outlined the broader strategy for Water campaign in Odisha and indicated that based on vulnerability assessment report of Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture (CRIDA), ten most vulnerable/ rainfed/ water scarcity districts in the state – Kalahandi, Malkangiri, Kandhmal, Bolangir, Koraput, Rayagada, Gajapati, Nabarangpur, Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar – have been identified for the intensive campaign which will cover 5500 villages in the State.

For the purpose one master trainer and 40 local volunteers (Jal Dhoots) will be identified and trained for the campaign in each 10 districts.

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Panigrahi hoped the campaign would lead to knowledge dissemination, saving in water due to adoption of water saving technologies, enhanced credit and flow of private investments in creation of water sources and its efficient utilisation and enhancing farmers income/livelihood security.

The campaign would focus on creating awareness among the rural community about methods of water conservation, preservation and its efficient utilisation at various levels using modern technologies like micro irrigation (more crop per drop), besides traditional water management practices.

Under the campaign, area specific contents covering different water management practices applicable to local conditions for various agro climatic regions with emphasis on community participation is being developed.