Shillong: Meghalaya became the first Indian state to ensure water conservation by coming up with its own water conservation policy.
The move came after the Meghalaya State Cabinet chaired by Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma approved the draft State Water Policy.
Soon after the meeting, Sangma tweeted:
The Cabinet after detailed a deliberation approved the Meghalaya State Water Policy 2019. It is historic for #Meghalaya as we have become the first State in the country to have a State water policy.@PMOIndia @narendramodi @gssjodhpur pic.twitter.com/KRsdx8NyEv
— Conrad Sangma (@SangmaConrad) July 12, 2019
The policy will be implemented through the active participation of the community. The state will constitute a ‘Water Sanitation Village Council’ at the village level for smooth implementation of the policy. The policy lays down the quality check procedures to control the use of groundwater.
The state policy outlines several measures like construction of check dams to conserve rainwater, setting up of rainwater harvesting systems, and proper ways to control improper use of groundwater.
The policy also suggests safety audit of state dams at periodic intervals by the Meghalaya State Dam Safety Organisation (SDSO) to identify the safety risks and mitigate the adverse impacts.
Meghalaya Water Policy aims to provide safe and hygienic water for various purposes like drinking, domestic, sanitation and livelihood development. The policy recognises water as a common pool resource for all residents of the state.
The draft Water Policy would protect and improve the management of water resources in the state and will involve the entire community.
The water conservation policy intends to protect and conserve the catchment areas of water sources like rivers with an aim to avert the degradation of both quantity and quality of these sources.