PANJIM: After two decades the State government has formulated another Goa State Water Policy 2021 outlining an action plan for sustainable water management and adequate quantity for all human requirements and to achieve it within a given time frame.
The policy was laid on the table of the House by Water Resources Minister Felipe Neri Rodrigues in the recently concluded Goa Assembly.
The policy envisages preparation of Master Plans for development and management of water resources for all river basins of the State and to implement it to secure future water requirement of the State. Master Plans for the Mhadei, Zuari, Galgibag and Talpona basins will be revisited and the demand for water for all human uses will be updated and re-assessed.
Hydrologic studies will be undertaken in all the basins to determine the average yield, 75 per cent dependable yield and utilisable yield. Ground water assessment will be done based on aquifer mapping and estimation of ground water resources being carried out by the Central Ground Water Board.
The government intends to rationalise water charges and update this periodically by introducing a structural system of water charges on volumetric basis. Considerable investment will be made to extract water from its natural source, process it and supply to users so as to recover the part of expenditure.
The State generates significant quantum of treated sewerage water which is estimated to be 165 MLD by December this year and will formulate schemes for judicious use of treated water by supplying it to the industrial and agricultural consumers or to discharge it in water stress areas as e-flow to rejuvenate the rivers.
Installation of sewage treatment plants (STPs) will be promoted for bulk consumers by exploring public-private partnership (PPP) mode.
The policy speaks of harnessing hydro-electric potential to the fullest and to expedite the implementation of hydro-power projects in the Mandovi basin and undertake studies for inter-basin water transfer.
A proper flood plain main management plan will be adopted while, all flood plains along the important rivers and streams will be surveyed and demarcated.
The policy also explores possibilities of desalination of sea water for providing drinking water to coastal areas.
Also the scope of rain water harvesting will be expanded to bring more classes of buildings under mandatory rain water harvesting.
Though the water availability in Goa is well above ‘water stress’ level, estimated water is not available for human consumption. Goa’s population is projected at 16.5 lakh by 2021 while, the per capita annual water availability is 1807 CuM. The total annual water resource of Goa is 2983 MCM including 2823 MCM surface water and 160 MCM of ground water.
The performance of the action plan will be reviewed every three years while, the policy will be reviewed after 10 years or earlier if the government so deems fit.