CSAT 2023

Q. We often hear about conflicts among different States in India over river waters. Of the 20 major river systems, 14 are already water-stressed; 75% of the population lives in water-stressed regions, a third of whom live in water-scarce areas.

Climate change, the demands of rising population and the need for agriculture to keep pace, and increased rate of urbanization and industrialization will exacerbate water stress. According to the Constitution of India, water is a State subject and not that of the Union, except for regulation of inter-State rivers. Key to ensuring balance between competing demands of various stakeholders is a basin-based approach to allocate water amongst constituent regions and States. Allocating fair share of water to them requires assessments based on objective criteria, such as specificities of the river basin, size of dependent population, existing water use and demand, efficiency of use, projected future use, etc. while ensuring the environmental needs of the river and aquifers.

Q. Which one of the following statements best reflects the most rational, practical and immediate action required to ensure fair and equitable allocation of water to different stakeholders?
(a) A national, pragmatic, legal and policy framework for water allocation should be made.
(b) All river systems of the country should be linked and huge aquifers created.
(c) Water channels between regions of water surplus and regions of water deficit should be created.
(d) To mitigate water crisis, water demand. of sectors such as agriculture and industry should be reduced.

Question from UPSC Prelims 2023 CSAT

Explanation : 

Q1: Correct Answer – (a) A national, pragmatic, legal and policy framework for water allocation should be made.

The most rational, practical, and immediate action required to ensure fair and equitable allocation of water to different stakeholders is option (a) A national, pragmatic, legal, and policy framework for water allocation should be made. This option suggests the need for a comprehensive approach at the national level to address the water allocation issues. It emphasizes the importance of creating a legal and policy framework that takes into account the specificities of each river basin, the size of the dependent population, existing water use and demand, efficiency of use, projected future use, and environmental needs. This approach would ensure a fair and equitable allocation of water among different regions and states, considering the competing demands of various stakeholders.

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