Navroz and Aquifer Mapping
What’s in news?
The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has greeted nation on the occasion of Navroz.
- It is a Parsi New Year festival celebrated to mark the beginning of the new Iranian calendar.
- While the Balkans, the Caucasus, the Middle Easterns celebrate the festival on March 21, the first day of the Zoroastrian calendar, in India there is another version of the festival that is followed according to the Shahanshahi calendar and falls during the later months of the year. The dates change every year since the calendar doesn’t account for leap years.
- Navroz is also known as Jamshed-i-Navroz after the Persian King, Jamshed, who is credited to have created the Persian Calendar known as the Shahenshahi Calendar.
- The time of the festival is decided in Iran and then it is passed on to the entire Zoroastrian population in the world.
NATIONAL AQUIFER MAPPING AND MANAGEMENT PROGRAMME
What’s in news?
The National Aquifer Mapping and Management program (NAQUIM) is being implemented by the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB).
- Of the 6,881 blocks/talukas assessed in the country, 17 per cent are overexploited. These overexploited areas have invaded all aquifer typologies — from prolific soft rocks aquifer system in Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, complex heterogeneous aquifer systems in arid areas of Rajasthan and Gujarat to low-potential hard rock aquifers in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Maharashtra.
- The economic and social consequences of groundwater overexploitation has led to mounting economic burden on farmers owing to relentless construction of deeper new wells, increased energy cost to lift water, enhanced water salinity and spread of geogenic contaminants — arsenic, fluoride, salinity — and ingress of seawater in freshwater aquifers in coastal areas.
- NAQUIM envisages mapping of aquifers (water bearing formations), their characterization and development of Aquifer Management Plans to facilitate sustainable management of groundwater resources.
- NAQUIM was initiated as a part of the Ground Water Management and Regulation Scheme to delineate and characterize the aquifers to develop plans for ground water management.
- The rocks in which groundwater is stored are called aquifers. They are typically made up of gravel, sand, sandstone or limestone.
Ground Water Management and Regulation Scheme:
- It is a Central Sector Scheme of the Department of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation.
Central Ground Water Board:
- It is a subordinate office of the Ministry of Water Resources and is the National Apex Agency entrusted with the responsibilities of providing scientific inputs for management, exploration, monitoring, assessment, augmentation and regulation of groundwater resources of the country.
- It was established in 1970 by renaming the Exploratory Tubewells Organization under the Ministry of Agriculture and later on merged with the Groundwater Wing of the Geological Survey of India during 1972.
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