The activity of water resources security mapping aimed to enhance the understanding of water The water resources security mapping activity conducted at the Rameswaram municipality, Thangachimadam and Pamban panchayats established a rapid assessment framework and development of an action plan for implementation. The framework brought out the physical status of the available water resources, current management practices and the risks associated with the availability of the water resources.
The assessment was conducted from a risk perspective that identifies potential hazards, their likelihood and severity, (a risk priority number can be created multiplying the three) the vulnerable populations or areas, and the resulting criticality of the risks. Conducting a water security assessment is an essential step in the process of addressing water risks. It establishes a common and agreed-upon information base on the severity and extent of water risks, now and in the near future. This information will be the foundation for the planning, implementation, and monitoring of water security activities. It is also a critical justification to ensure support from funders and Governing authorities for the implementation of the identified road map.
The study has brought out a perspective of on the hotspots over the next two to three years for improvement through deriving a water security index for Rameswaram island. This information is rich enough for the decision makers for finetuning their existing efforts. This has been derived through a set of 4 dimensions in the form of water withdrawals, water productivity, watershed health and water governance.
The study presents a road map for implementation that indicates a set of priority intervention areas that can create an immediate impact about water resources security. This road map has been developed considering the influencing factors of municipal administration, technological interventions, social impacts, involvement of public and policy implementation. The priority measures listed is based on the levels of ease of implementation, impacts that it can create immediately, short term and long term and cost of measures.
This is based on the indicators that have been identified through several discussions, one to one meeting with diversified stakeholders from water user associations, consumers, households, industrial and commercial establishments.
ICCW recommended the decision makers to focus their attention through the following table with indicators and ten improvement measures for protecting and sustaining the water resources of Rameswaram island.
Based on the above the following heads on analysis, set of suggested priority actions and support from ICCW-IITM summarize the study as a ready reckoner.
|Water withdrawals||Water metering and accounting on the demand and supply sideImproving water distribution and use efficiency|
|Water productivity||Monitoring outputs / turnover with the consumptionMonitoring footfall of tourists and revenue earned with the consumption|
|Watershed health||More emphasis should be laid on 4 R’s to revive restore, renovate, rejuvenate around 60 teerthams that existed 4R’s to be practiced on a sustainable basis|
|Water governance||More participative approaches could be designedEffective allocation of available resources, more planning for future requirements|
Set of suggested priority actions for Rameswaram island
Provide quality clean drinking water- Use of innovative cost effective community based drinking water treatment technologies
This article is written by Mr Sripati Cowlagi. He is an Expert Engineer at ICCW. He is involved in implementation, project management and capacity building.