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Drinking Water supply System in Rajasthan State
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Drinking Water supply System in Rajasthan

A Challenge

This paper was presented by Government of Rajasthan at the '' International Conference on Water Quality Management : South Asian Perspective" , organised by International life Sciences Institute, India, Held in Jaipur, during 11-13 April, 2002

Introduction

Rajasthan has historically been a water deficient state and the reoccurrence of droughts once in 2-3 years and some times continuously one after another has posed a great challenge on Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) to provide drinking water to the state population which constitutes nearly 5% of the nation's population. The water resources  available to the state are just 1% Thus providing water in the right quantity and quality has been  the constant endeavourer  of the public Health Engineering Department. This task has further been aggravated by the increase in human population, their desire for a better living standard, expansion or economic activities in industry and agriculture and over exploitation of the limited ground water which is the primary source for drinking water. Over 90% of the water supply system in the state is based on it. The ground water level is falling fast due to increasing gap between withdrawal and recharge. To fill up this gap, a better understanding of the water management system conservation and sustainable use of water resources is required.

Present Status of Water Supply System

All the 222 towns of the state and 37572 villages out of the total 37889 villages have been fully or partially benefitted by the water supply. Thus 99% of villages have been provided drinking water through different water supply schemes. In addition to it more than 48000 other habitations have also been brought under the water supply system. The details of different water supply schemes as on December 2000 are as under :

1. P&T Scheme  - 3139
2. H.P. Schemes  - 23087
3. Regional Water Supply Scheme  - 9122
4. T.S.S. &J.J.Y - 1942
5. Diggi & Other   - 282
Total    - 37572

 

The PHED owns 13711 power pumps bore wells and 192909 Hand Pumps. The department is regularly maintaining a repair programme of the Hand Pumps.

Although the achievement of the department with regard to the provision of drinking water has been very impressive but the quality of water of its sources pose a serious threat to Public Health. According to the 91-93 water quality survey, Rajasthan constitutes the major share of villages having ground water of excessive salinity and fluoride. 14415 villages have excess salinity and 16560 villages have excess fluoride in their ground water, which is nearly 42.9 and 51.4% of the total India's quality problem villages respectively. The districts of Jaipur, Tonk, Nagaur, Ajmer, Bhilwara, Sirohi, Pali, Churu, Bharatpur, Barmer and Jhunjhunu are worst affected. To have a fresh assessment of ground water quality a survey of 10% sources of all villages/habitations has been conducted recently. According to this survey 25.17% of villages and habitations have been found to be fluoride affected, 14.23% salinity affected and 21.58% have excess nitrate in their ground water.