Getting More from Less: Story of India’s Shrinking Water Resources

Government of India has put explicit emphasis in ensuring efficiency in usage of water. Since almost 78 per cent of India’s total freshwater demand (Central Water Commission, 2010) comes from agricultural sector, GoI has announced an umbrella scheme – the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana, for better monitoring and implementation of irrigation projects. NABARD has been playing an active role in this important initiative. Targeted to be completed by December 2019, these identified 99 priority projects are expected to create additional 6.8 million hectare (original target was 7.6 million ha) of irrigation potential in India. More recently, ‘Jal Shakti Abhiyan’ a campaign for water conservation and water security has been launched by the GoI. NABARD will be contributing significantly to this initiative as well. NABARD through its Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) since 1995-96 has supported irrigation and drinking water supply sector and projects close to one lakh crore rupees have been sanctioned to various State Governments.