IMD Findings and Auditing of water resources

 

Relevancy

  • G.S. Paper 2
  • Findings of IMD
  • Effect of monsoon on the economy
  • Need for auditing of water resources

Recently:

  • The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has recently released the monsoon forecast for this year.

What are the findings of IMD?

  • The country would experience a normal monsoon for the third successive year.
  • South-west monsoon at 97% of the long period average (LPA) is expected.
  • Long Period Average (LPA) is the average annual rainfall for the period 1951-2000.
  • The LPA comes to about 89 cm of rain.
  • Monsoon is considered normal if average rainfall is between 96% and 104% of the LPA.
  • Anything less than 90% of the LPA is considered a deficient monsoon.

How normal monsoon would enhance economy?

  • The forecast of a normal monsoon enhanced the economic outlook.
  • For farmers especially, this has given fresh expectations.
  • This is the third year in a row to look forward to a high output for a variety of crops.
  • However, it is not to be forgotten that fiscal realities have come in the way of realising higher farm incomes.
  • The Centre has been supportive of higher returns through the Minimum Support Price mechanism.
  • Moreover, additional bonuses have been announced by States such as Madhya Pradesh for procurement.

Why there is a need for caution?

  • Government efforts have mainly helped only rice and wheat.
  • This trend has led to a skew towards these crops.
  • This is especially worrying from a water management perspective.
  • As the above crops are heavily dependent on groundwater.
  • With a normal monsoon, another year of good cropping is expected.
  • But unremunerative prices will depress public sentiment.
  • So it is vital for the Centre to arrive at a policy.
  • Farmers should be given constructive advice on the ideal cropping mix.
  • They should be helped to get the cost-plus-50% margin that the Centre has promised them.

Why auditing of water resources is crucial for India?

  • Rainfall ranges from a few hundred millimeters or less in the northwest to more than a few thousand millimeters elsewhere.
  • The long-term challenge for India is to make the most of the rainfall it receives.
  • India notably uses more water to grow crops comparing to, say, China.
  • Combined with distortions in procurement subsidies, water stress due to exorbitant use is inevitable.

What needs to be done?

  • The Master Plan for Artificial Recharge to Ground Water drawn up by the Centre should be pursued scientifically.
  • This is to help States (with the most water-stressed blocks) get adequate funds to build artificial recharge structures.
  • Moreover, for farmers choosing to continue with wheat and rice, transfer of expertise is crucial.
  • Also, provision of equipment that enables efficient utilisation of water is vital.
  • A good monsoon raises agriculture’s contribution to GDP growth.
  • So it is essential that the governments invest consistently to harvest the monsoon.

 

 

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