In spite of its industrial progress in the recent years, the base of Haryana's economy lies in agriculture and water that is to be used for irrigation is a major issue over here. The state does not have any independent source from which it can draw surface water and is highly dependent on the states that surround it for receiving water resources. Perhaps the need of the hour right now is to create a water policy, which is effective enough to deal with this rather serious issue. It is essential that the said policy has water conservation at its heart and devises methods that can ensure a sufficient supply of water for all farmers in the state.
One of the main areas that need to be looked after in this scenario is the allocation of water resources that already exist among the farmers. It needs to be justifiable and intelligently done. The special focus in this instance needs to be provided to the ones that are at the lower end of the pyramid, with scarce economic and social privileges to ensure that they are not completely wiped out from existence. It is also necessary to take into account the fact that water resources are used to their optimum level.
It is also important to create the right bodies to look after this issue and empower them with the authority to make sure that groundwater resources are managed in an effective way so that all the concerned entities that are part of the agricultural sector of Haryana are properly satisfied. It is also essential to make sure that groundwater does not get polluted in any way and is able to maintain its quality considering how scarce the resources are.
It is important to improve the overall drainage system as well and it should be given due importance whenever any project pertaining to irrigation is concerned. It is also necessary to take steps so that the water sector can sustain itself. The economic aspect of all these operations needs to be kept in mind as well. The state government needs to keep changing the rates in such a way that they are sufficient to provide the basic foundation for the operations concerned and also maintain it. However, they should not also burn a hole in the pockets of its beneficiaries the common people.
As far as official statistics are concerned, almost half of the land in Haryana suffers from problems such as soil erosion, salinity, alkalinity, and water logging. A number of steps, in addition to ones that may have already been taken, can be taken to counter these problems and they include making the following and other vegetative methods:
- Check dams
- Percolation embankments
- Water harvesting structures
- Diversion bunds
- Gully plugs
With watershed development programs it will be possible to stop soil erosion yet another important step in this regard is harvest rainwater, which will allow the soil to retain moisture as it is and replenish the groundwater resources. This will also help other areas such as livestock and human consumption.
The underground water level in Haryana has been depleting at a rather quick rate of late, especially due to the harsh summers, and it needs to be stopped as soon as possible.