State govt to use drones to map water availability

ST CORRESPONDENT
Monday, 13 May 2019

The State Government has given financial and administrative rights to use up to Rs 10 crore to shape the said plan. Water resource department’s secretary will head the committee, the Government Resolution has mentioned.

PUNE: In order to accurately estimate the availability of water in Maharashtra and find permanent solutions to curb water scarcity problems, the Maharashtra Government has constituted a high-level committee.

In a Government Resolution (GR) released recently, it has been stated that technology like satellite mapping, aerial photography and drone will be used to map the water resources and its availability in the State. 

The GR also states that since last year less than normal rainfall resulted into drought-like conditions in several villages and districts of the country, proper planning of the available water in the State's irrigated land will be mapped.

The committee will be taking help of World Economic Forum, based in Mumbai, and its new Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in India, Maharashtra Remote Sensing Application Centre based in Nagpur and Maharashtra Engineering Research Institute based in Nashik. 

The State Government has given financial and administrative rights to use up to Rs 10 crore to shape the said plan. Water resource departments secretary will head the committee, the GR mentioned.

The city-based environmental activist working in areas of water said that since only subsurface water will be mapped, the holistic view of water availability will not be known.

Shailaja Deshpande, Founder and Director of JeevitNadi Living River Foundation, working for river restoration and water sustainability, said, “If the GR states that it will solve the water scarcity issue then the State Government should consider mapping each and every water resources which includes natural and man-made and groundwater resources.”

Sunil Joshi, President of Samagra Nadi Pariwar, a non-government organisation working for water sustainability, said, “The aerial mapping will only produce subsurface water mapping. Subsurface water in the country has evaporation losses, so this type of mapping should be conducted pre-monsoon and post-monsoon. The GR is very vague, no proper details have been provided in it.”

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