CHANDIGARH: The severity of groundwater depletion has escalated to a great extent in Punjab and considering this the Punjab government has ventured into an agreement with a national water company of Israel, M/s Mekorot, to solve the crisis by devising a Water Conservation and Management Master Plan. Israel is highly successful in water management as it is the only nation in the world which recycles more than 80 percent of its waste water. The Israeli company is to submit recommendations to the state government in a time period of 18 months and the final report of the master plan is expected by October 2020.
A three-member team of experts from Israel are on a field visit to Punjab from June 11 to 14, to get a better understanding of the problems faced by the state due to the water crisis. An interactive session was held on June 11 which involved technical experts from different departments of the state. The participating departments included Water Resources, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Water Supply and Sanitation, PSPCL, Soil and Water Conservation. The meeting was presided over by Arunjit Singh Miglani, IAS, Mission Director, Directorate of Groundwater Management. on June 11.
The session saw the Jagmohan Singh Mann, state’s chief engineer, canals, and Sanjiv Gupta, chief engineer, drainage and mining, detailing the existing irrigation and flood management infrastructure in the state to the Israeli team and outlining the challenges faced by them. Dr Diego Berger, International Special Projects Coordinator from Israel, gave a presentation on the water resources management system in Israel.