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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

Monthly DNA

14 Nov, 2022

22 Min Read

Assessment of the Dynamic Ground Water Resource 2022

GS-I : Indian Geography Water resources

Assessment of the Dynamic Ground Water Resource, 2022

The Dynamic Ground Water Resource Assessment Report for the entire nation for the year 2022 was just released by the Union Minister of Jal Shakti.

What are the Assessment's Findings?

  • The annual groundwater extraction is 239.16 BCM, while the total annual groundwater recharge is 437.60 BCM.
  • According to the assessment, groundwater recharge has increased.
  • The annual groundwater recharge was 436 bcm while the annual groundwater extraction was 245 bcm, according to a 2020 assessment.
  • When water from the earth's surface seeps below and collects in aquifers, the process is known as groundwater recharge. The procedure is therefore also referred to as deep drainage or deep percolation.
  • According to the 2022 assessment, groundwater extraction is at its lowest level since 2004, when it reached 231 bcm.
  • In addition, 1006 of the country's total of 7089 assessment units have been labelled as "over-exploited."
  • The usage of irrigation accounts for around 87% of the total annual groundwater extraction, or 208.49 bcm. Only 30.69 bcm, or roughly 13% of the total extraction, is for domestic and industrial usage.

State-by-state extraction of groundwater

  • 60.08% of the nation's groundwater is currently being extracted.
  • In the states of Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, and Daman & Diu, where it is more than 100%, the stage of ground water extraction is exceptionally high.
  • The stage of ground water extraction varies between 60 and 100% in the states of Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, and the UTs of Chandigarh, Lakshadweep, and Puducherry.
  • The level of ground water extraction is below 60% in the remaining states.

What is the situation with India's groundwater?

  • With a fourth of the world's withdrawals, India is the greatest groundwater user. About 48% of the water used in Indian cities comes from groundwater.
  • In India, there are more than 4,400 statutory towns and cities, and there are already 400 million people living there. By 2050, that number could rise to 300 million.

Groundwater Depletion Problems

  • By 2050, an estimated 3.1 billion people may experience seasonal water shortages and nearly a billion may experience perennial water shortages as a result of uncontrolled groundwater and growing population.
  • Even though there has been good infrastructural development, there will still be problems with water and food security, which will increase poverty in the cities.

What problems does India's groundwater management face?

Illicit extraction

  • The extraction of groundwater, which is referred to as a "common pool resource," has historically been subject to little regulation.
  • Groundwater extraction has increased during the past few decades, driven by a growing population, urbanisation, and expansion of irrigation activities.

Extravagant Irrigation

  • Groundwater irrigation, which gained popularity in the 1970s, has improved socioeconomic well-being, productivity, and means of subsistence.

Lack of understanding of groundwater management systems

  • The imbalance between local demand and supply accounts for a sizable portion of the issue in India.
  • Two less obvious causes of this problem include an increasing population and unrestrained urban expansion.
  • For instance, a population with better economic standing may have a greater need for water distribution and supply.

Groundwater contamination

  • According to statistics on water quality gathered by the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB), there is arsenic pollution in the groundwater in as many as 154 districts spread across 21 states.
  • Accounts of anthropogenic activities and geogenic sources have significantly lower quality.
  • As the concentration of heavy metals in the earth's crust is higher than on the surface, this further boosts the amount of contamination.

Climate Change:

  • The country has endured climate shocks, which have worsened the cumulative effect of all the issues outlined above.
  • The difficulties India's groundwater challenges contribute to the deterioration of the climate catastrophe, which exacerbates the problems with groundwater supplies.
  • The quality and quantity of groundwater are negatively impacted by disruptions in the hydrological cycle that result in protracted periods of flooding and drought.
  • For instance, flood events raise the possibility of increased chemical and biological contamination of groundwater.

What initiatives has the government taken?

  • Atal Bhujal Yojana (ABY): It is a Rs. 6000 crore Central Sector Scheme for sustainable management of groundwater resources with community involvement, funded by the World Bank.
  • Jal Shakti Abhiyan (JSA): It was started in 2019 to improve groundwater conditions and water availability in 256 water-stressed districts across the nation.
  • It places a focus on revitalising traditional water sources, building recharge systems, heavily afforestation, etc.
  • The CGWB has been involved with the Aquifer Mapping and Management Programme.
  • The program's goal is to identify aquifer types and characterise them so that aquifer- and area-specific groundwater management plans may be created with community input.
  • Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT): The Mission's development of fundamental urban infrastructure, including water supply, sewerage & septage management, stormwater drainage, green spaces & parks, and non-motorized urban transportation, is a priority in the AMRUT cities.

Way Forward

  • Integrated Water Resource Management Framework: The Integrated Water Resource Management framework needs to be emphasised. It encourages the coordinated management of resources related to water, land, and other relevant resources.
  • Adopting Water Sensitive Urban Design: First off, by managing groundwater, surface water, and rainwater for water demand and supply, water-sensitive urban design and planning can contribute to the maintenance of the water cycle.

Read Also: Renewable Energy in India – Facts and Future prospect

Source: Newsonair

Vikram-S, India's Privately Developed Launch Vehicle

GS-III : S&T Space

Vikram-S, India's First Privately Developed Launch Vehicle

  • Hyderabad-based Skyroot's Vikram-S is set to take off from Sriharikota, the country's only spaceport, becoming India's first privately developed launch vehicle.
  • The mission is known as 'Prarambh.'

Regarding the Prarambh mission:

  • It will be the first private sector launch in India.
  • The development of privately built rockets and satellites has accelerated, particularly since the finance minister announced that the space sector will be open to private participation in 2020.
  • Skyroot will be the first private company to successfully launch a rocket.

Other businesses and missions:

ISRO launches private satellite missions:

  • ISRO's heaviest launch vehicle, the Mark III, launched 36 OneWeb satellites (Bharti is an investor).
  • ISRO will also launch a fleet of 36 satellites for the company.
  • The space agency has also launched at least four student-built satellites.

The Vikram-S rocket

  • It is a suborbital launch vehicle with a single stage.
  • In a sub-orbital flight, it will transport three customer payloads. Among the three payloads is a 2.5kg satellite built by students from India, the United States, and Indonesia for another space startup, Space Kidz India.
  • Sub-orbital flight refers to vehicles that travel faster than the orbital velocity, which means they are fast enough to reach outer space but not fast enough to maintain an orbit around the Earth.
  • It is roughly defined as a distance of more than 80 kilometres from the mean sea level of the Earth.
  • Examples include Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson's initiatives.
  • It will aid in the testing and validation of technologies in the Vikram series of space launch vehicles.
  • The company is developing three Vikram rockets that will use various solid and cryogenic fuels to deliver payloads weighing between 290 and 560 kg to sun-synchronous polar orbits.
  • Vikram-I can deliver 480 kilogrammes of payload to LEO. A Kalam-100 rocket will power it.
  • Vikram-II is capable of carrying 595 kilogrammes of cargo.
  • Vikram-III has a launch mass of 815 kg and can reach a 500 km Low Inclination Orbit.
  • In comparison, India's PSLV can carry up to 1,750 kg to such an orbit, while the newly developed small satellite launch vehicle designed to carry smaller commercial satellites can carry up to 300 kg.

Tribute to Vikram Sarabhai

  • Skyroot's launch vehicles are named 'Vikram' in honour of the Indian space programme's founder and renowned scientist Vikram Sarabhai.

The Importance of Space Sector Privatization

  • Higher autonomy: Private companies have greater decision-making autonomy, allowing them to take on new projects.
  • Quick decision making: In private companies, decisions are made quickly, whereas in a public enterprise, the same process would have to go through several stages.
  • Low costs: It has enabled companies such as SpaceX, Blue Origin, and others to significantly reduce their costs, such as launching a rocket to the International Space Station for $57 million per seat, compared to $80 million per seat aboard a Russian shuttle and $450 million per mission before NASA ended its space shuttle programme.
  • Making reusable landing rocket launchers, as well as improvements in assembly lines and other similar operations, all contribute to lower costs.
  • Better job opportunities: The expansion of the space industry employs millions around the world, and the increase in the number of private space companies promotes competition among them and encourages continuous improvements and advancements.

Source: The Hindu

Climate Mangrove Alliance

GS-III : Biodiversity & Environment Conservation

Climate Mangrove Alliance

  • The "Mangrove Alliance for Climate" was recently established by the UAE and Indonesia on the fringes of the COP27 UN climate meeting taking place in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
  • India joined the Mangrove Alliance for Climate, launched on the sidelines of the ongoing United Nations Climate Summit in Egypt.

Regarding the Alliance

  • A Global Mangrove Research Centre will be constructed in Indonesia as part of this collaboration, and it will carry out research on mangrove ecosystem services like carbon sequestration and ecotourism.
  • Goal: To improve global mangrove ecosystem preservation and restoration.
  • The association will increase public awareness of mangroves' potential as "nature-based climate change solutions".

Partners:

  • The initiative is spearheaded by Indonesia in collaboration with the United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  • It now has partners in Sri Lanka, Spain, Japan, Australia, and India.

About Mangroves:

  • Mangroves are a type of tree that grows near coasts.
  • These trees grow well in salty environments and create distinctive forests at the sea and land's edge.
  • They also flourish in marshes.
  • Mangrove forests can withstand severe weather and need little oxygen to survive.
  • Features: Compared to terrestrial forests, these forests have the capacity to store up to ten times more carbon per hectare.
  • They can store carbon up to 400% more quickly than tropical rainforests on land.
  • They serve as a natural defence against the fury of the sea despite covering less than 1% of the earth's surface.
  • They also serve as breeding sites for marine biodiversity, and a healthy mangrove environment is essential for the survival of 80% of the world's fish populations.

Distribution:

  • In 123 different nations, mangroves can be found in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world.

Mangroves in India

  • Nearly half of South Asia's total mangrove cover comes from India.
  • In India, West Bengal has the largest proportion of mangrove cover. The world's largest mangrove forest, Sundarbans, is located in West Bengal.
  • Gujarat and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are next.
  • Mangroves are also found in Maharashtra, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Goa, and Kerala.
  • According to the India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2021, there are 4,992 square kilometres of mangroves in the nation, or 0.15 per cent of its total land area.
  • There has barely been a 17-square-foot increase in mangrove cover nationwide, compared to the mangrove cover estimate from 2019 to 2021.

The importance of mangroves

Natural Armaments:

  • Mangroves are the indigenous armed forces of tropical and subtropical countries because of their remarkable adaptability.
  • By retaining sediments from the land and filtering pollutants, mangrove thickets preserve the quality of the water.
  • Checking Global Temperature: The world, which is desperately trying to find ways to keep global temperature under check, is becoming more and more interested in mangroves because of their extraordinary capacity to trap and store carbon.
  • They are the best alternative to combat climate change's effects, such as sea level rise and an increase in the frequency of natural disasters like cyclones and storm surges.

Challenges

  • Mangroves are most at risk from coastal development, which includes erecting shrimp farms, hotels, and other buildings.
  • To make place for agricultural land and habitations, mangrove forests are destroyed.
  • Other dangers to mangrove ecosystems include overfishing, pollution, and increasing sea levels.
  • Mangrove trees are utilised for animal food, charcoal manufacturing, firewood, and construction materials.
  • Overharvesting has occurred in several regions of the world, which is no longer sustainable.

Mangrove protection initiatives by the Indian government

  • The National Coastal Mission Program's "Conservation and Management of Mangroves and Coral Reefs" is implementing the promotional measures through a Central Sector Scheme.
  • All coastal States and Union Territories are required to develop and implement an annual Management Action Plan (MAP) for the conservation and management of mangroves.
  • Under the Environment (Protection) Act of 1986, the Wild Life (Protection) Act of 1972, the Indian Forest Act of 1927, the Biological Diversity Act of 2002, and rules made under these acts as they have been amended from time to time, regulatory measures are implemented through the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification (2019).

Campaign for Magical Mangroves:

  • According to data from the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), India, the Magical Mangroves campaign of the WWF India has urged residents of nine states—Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Odisha, West Bengal, and Karnataka—to conserve mangroves.
  • The Ministry conducted an Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project in coastal lengths of Gujarat, Odisha, and West Bengal with the goal of conserving and protecting coastal resources, with the planting of mangroves serving as one of the main operations.

Way Forward

  • It is imperative that mangroves be included in national initiatives aimed at lowering emissions caused by deforestation and forest degradation.
  • Countries could reach their NDC targets and become carbon neutral by increasing emissions from mangrove afforestation or decreasing emissions from mangrove destruction

Source: The Hindu

International Drought Resilience Alliance (IDRA)

GS-III : Biodiversity & Environment Conservation

International Drought Resilience Alliance (IDRA)

At the COP27 to the UNFCCC in Sharm El-Sheikh, 30 nations and 20 organisations, led by Spain and Senegal, launched the International Drought Resilience Alliance (IDRA).

The IDRA

  • At the 77th UN General Assembly, Spain made the initial announcement of the IDRA.
  • The partnership will cooperate to improve each other's drought preparedness in the future.
  • The group also committed to changing the way the world responds to the increasing threats of drought by shifting from immediate action to long-term resilience building.
  • The alliance's goal is to create political momentum so that by 2030, the land will be able to withstand drought and climate change.

Challenges

Significance

  • The alliance is essential since, except for UNCCD, which primarily addresses desertification, there is no other international convention on land.
  • In order to maximise the advantages of cooperating on drought resilience, the alliance will also cooperate with other platforms, such as the initiative established by the UN Secretary-General and the World Meteorological Organization to achieve universal coverage of early warning systems.

Facts about Drought around the world:

  • Since 2000, the frequency of droughts has increased by 29%, affecting over 55 million people annually.
  • Around $124 billion in economic losses due to drought were caused globally between 1998 and 2017.
  • The droughts of 2022 in Europe, the United States, Australia, Chile, the Horn of Africa, and other countries and regions demonstrated that no place is immune to their effects.

Source: Down To Earth

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