Minister says barely any locations available for building large dams, stresses on recharging groundwater

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New Delhi, Nov 12 (PTI) Underlining that there are barely any locations available for building big dams, Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on Thursday stressed on recharging groundwater, saying this can help provide water security.

He said the Jal Shakti Ministry has started working on groundwater recharge and aquifer mapping.

'The way conditions are in the country, I don't think we can make big dams in large numbers any more… such geographical locations may not be available. We have tapped everything, wherever we could, we have made it. The conditions that are there today, we barely have locations that we can count on our fingertips where we could build such large structures,' Shekhawat said.

The minister was speaking at the National Water Awards event organised here.

There are nearly 736 major dams in the country. Mostly, constructing a large dam not only involves displacement of people but a large swathe of land goes under the water.

Stressing on recharging groundwater, the minister said, 'The groundwater has the potential to sustain our generations and provide us water security. We are doing aquifer mapping on a scientific basis and working on groundwater recharge.' He said the ambitious Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) is not just to provide tapped drinking water but also to bring in behavioural change. The mission aims to provide tap water connections to rural households by 2024.

Shekhawat said the JJM will work as a 'game changer' and will play a role in prosperity of the country.

'We can provide drinking water but then we have to work for source sustainability. If every village has a source sustainability, be it a pond, lake, well or a tube well, work has to be done on recharging these sources,' he said.

He also emphasised on recycling the greywater. PTI PR SNE SNE