By Our Staff Reporter
Dehradun, 26 Mar: The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and CURE, today, handed over the Water Balance Plan Study of Dehradun City to Director, Urban Development Directorate, Vinod Kumar Suman, Project Director, Uttarakhand Urban Sector Development Agency (UUSDA), Vinay Shankar Pandey, and Additional Programme Director, USSDA, Vinay Mishra.
The Jal Jeevan Mission (Urban) in its recently released guidelines has suggested cities to conduct a Water Balance Plan to promote circular economy of the water focusing on recycle/reuse of treated sewage, rejuvenation of water bodies and water conservation. In the event, the City Water Balance Plan Study which CURE had initiated in June 2020 with the support of USAID was handed over to the Department of Urban Development, today. A dynamic Water Balance Dashboard has been developed for facilitating the process of easy tracking and sharing of data, monitoring and transparency was also shared with the Urban Development Department.
USAID under its Paani aur Swachhata mein Sajhedari (PASS) programme is supporting CURE in three AMRUT cities/towns namely Prayagraj, Nashik and Dehradun for conducting the City Water Balance Plan study. Dehradun is the first city to conclude the study after a period of one year. AMRUT is one of the flagship programmes of the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), towards building water resilient cities. The study was conducted by CURE in collaboration of Impact DASH, a local consulting agency.
The Draft Water Balance Plan was presented by CURE to the Department of Urban Development on 19 February, 2021, in a meeting at the Chief Secretary’s Conference Hall. The meeting was presided over by the Secretary, Urban Development, Shaliesh Bagauli with representatives from all the stakeholder’s department including Jal Sansthan, Peyjal Nigam, Department of Irrigation, AMRUT and so forth. The key findings of the study include satisfactory underground water availability, satisfactory piped water supply especially to the slum areas, intensive groundwater extraction, lack of convergence between all the stakeholder departments for better outcome, paucity of data and concerning prevalence of water borne diseases.
Shailesh Bagauli appreciated the initiative and flagged concerns over few areas of the study which included the data validation, Aquifer Management plan, Water Potability and Water Supply. The final draft has addressed the concerns, however, only limited ones due to the paucity of data and constraint of limited time. The paucity of available data remains a critical concern to be addressed.