[Yojana April Summary] About Jal Jeevan Mission: Accelerating Socio-Economic Development – Explained, pointwise

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In recent years, the Government has taken a number of steps to improve the quality of life and enhance the ease of living of people. The Jal Jeevan Mission aims to make the tap water connection to every household and public institution.

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What is the need for Jal Jeevan Mission?

(1) Access to clean water reduces the burden of water-borne diseases; (2) Prerequisite to ensure improved sanitation and hygiene, leading to an overall improvement in public health; (3) Relieves women and young girls from the age-old drudgery of fetching water from a distance. It gives them the time to pursue education or vocation of their choice; (4) Ensure that water does not become a limiting factor in India’s rapid socio-economic development and quest for high economic growth to eliminate poverty.

Read more: Jal Jeevan Mission: Flowing in the right direction
About the Jal Jeevan Mission

Launched by: Ministry of Jal Shakti in 2019.

Objective: The aim is to provide safe and adequate drinking water through individual household tap connections by 2024 to all households in rural India.

The goal of the mission: The goal is to have ‘Har Ghar Jal’- every house in the village is to be provided with a Functional tap connection.

Key Features of the mission
Jal Jeevan Mission
Source: JJM

Firstly, the mission is a decentralized, demand-driven and community-managed programme. The Gram Panchayat will play a key role in planning and implementation.

Secondly, the mission includes extensive Information, Education and Communication (IEC) as a key component of the mission.

Thirdly, the mission will also implement source sustainability measures as mandatory elements. This includes measures such as recharge and reuses through greywater management, water conservation, and rainwater harvesting.

Fourthly, it prescribes a ‘bottoms-up’ five-year village action plan through the formation of a village water and sanitation committee (VWSCs) or Pani Samiti, under the gram panchayat.

Further, States will give priority to, (1) Water quality-affected areas; (2) Villages in drought-prone and desert areas; (3) Scheduled caste/scheduled tribe majority villages; (4) Aspirational districts and Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana villages.

Jal Jeevan Mission Urban

The JJM (Urban) has been designed to provide universal coverage of water supply to all households through functional taps in all 4,378 statutory towns in accordance with Sustainable Development Goal- 6. The mission also provides coverage of sewerage/septage management in 500 AMRUT cities is the other focus area.

Read more: Jal Jeevan Mission launches innovation challenge for portable water testing devices
What have been the achievements of JJM so far?

At the time of the announcement of the JJM, out of a total of 18.70 crore rural households, only 3.23 crore (17%) households had the provision of tap water supply. At present, there are 19.32 crore rural households across 21 different edapho-climatic conditions in the country. Currently, about 9 crores (46%) of rural households in the country have assured provision of a clean tap water supply. Every rural household in 101 districts and 1.40  lakh villages is getting a clean tap water supply.

Three States, viz. Goa, Haryana, Telangana, and three UTs, viz. Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Daman & Diu, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, and Puducherry have become ‘Har Ghar Jal’ States/UTs.

Read more: Puducherry becomes ‘Har Ghar Jal’ UT under “Jal Jeevan Mission”
What strategies have been adopted by JJM to achieve this remarkable feat?

The community at the Centre: JJM is a decentralised, demand-driven, and community-managed programme it also aims to instil a ‘sense of ownership’ among the local community.

Implementation strategy: Acknowledging the urgency to ensure potable tap water supply in difficult areas, priority has been accorded to water quality-affected habitations such as villages falling in drought-prone & desert areas, Aspirational Districts, SC/ST majority villages and Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY) Villages.

Under JJM, every State/UT prepared a ‘saturation plan’ to achieve 100% coverage or ‘Har Ghar Jal’ status.

Partnerships & Capacity Building: In line with the motto of Jal Jeevan Mission, i.e., ‘Building partnerships, Changing lives’, 185 organisations, viz. UN agencies, trusts, foundations, etc, have been roped in as Sector Partners to dovetail their resources and efforts in achieving the collective goal of Har Ghar Jal. Further, About 14 thousand local NGOs, VOs, CBOs, women SHGs, etc., are also engaged by States as Implementation Support Agencies (ISAs) for VWSCs.

Water Quality Monitoring & Surveillance: About 10 lakh women have been trained across villages with an emphasis on ensuring water quality. Laboratories are being standardised and upgraded across the country. More than 2,000 water quality testing laboratories have been opened.

Innovation and Use of Modern technologies: Sensor-based IoT pilots are underway in more than 100 villages for automatic data capturing to measure and monitor the daily water supply.

Water Quality Management Information System (WQMIS) has been developed by using the reports generated from water quality testing through Field Testing Kits as well as laboratories.

Read more: Grand ICT Challenge under Jal Jeevan Mission
What are the challenges associated with Jal Jeevan Mission?

Geographical diversity: In India, conditions vary from cold to hot desert, Indo-Gangetic plains to mountains, vast alluvial mainland to forested areas, more than 7,000 km long coastal belt to many islands. Each such region has its own unique challenges.

Fluctuation in the rainfall pattern: Western Rajasthan receives 100 mm rainfall per year, on the other hand, Mawsynram in North East receives 11,000 mm annual rainfall.

Overexploitation of groundwater: India has the highest groundwater consumption in the world with about 10 abstraction structures every km, which indicates the over-exploitation of groundwater sources.

As per the Central Ground Water Board report, 2017, about 50% of groundwater sources either have quality or quantity issues, which means simple in situ water supply systems based on groundwater may not work on a long-term basis in half of the country.

Creation of water supply infrastructure: To ensure clean tap water supply to 83% of rural households on a long-term basis, huge amount of water supply infrastructure has to be created. The scale of the work is so huge that the number of tap water connections provided every year will have to be equivalent to the total number of taps provided accumulatively in the last 70 years.

Read more: Clean drinking water to all: Initiatives and challenges – Explained Pointwise
What should be done to improve the performance of JJM?

The government has to set up further robust institutions such as regulatory bodies, certification provisions, and learning opportunities for engineers.

Adopt innovative technologies: The government need to adopt innovative technologies, especially sewage treatment, in-situ combustion/energy production from human excreta, etc. This will reduce the consumption of freshwater to flush tanks, often seen in urban areas.

With the massive deployment of sensor-based IoT systems for measurement & monitoring of water supply, testing of water samples for quality and dashboard for data integration and analysis will ensure transparency, assured service delivery, and grievance redressal.

Water Security for Development: India should work on groundwater replenishing methods without polluting the sources. Further, village communities and users/owners should start water budgeting to understand and improve water-use efficiency by changing water usage patterns, shifting to less water-consuming crops, and/ or switching to micro-irrigation, i.e., drip and sprinkler systems.

Even a small reduction in agricultural use will enhance water availability for drinking and domestic purposes, enhancing the longevity and functionality of water supply systems.

Convergence with other schemes: To ensure the long-term sustainability of JJM,  the mission has to converge with other schemes such as MGNREGS, Atal Bhujal Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana, etc., to dovetail resources at the village level.

With the progress of JJM, SBM, India became a shining example on a global platform for its impactful WASH policies that are being driven on such a large scale while building a movement of behavioural change. India is now certainly in a position to transfer/make available the knowledge/experience to other countries, especially the global south.

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