Need to modernise water management: President Delhi Bureau and Agencies

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 11 Oct 2017 08:46:28



MODERNISATION of India is dependenton modernisation of its water management, President Ram Nath Kovind said on Tuesday as he pitched for “localised” water management approach to empower villages. Noting that water was fundamental to “economy, ecology and human equity”, he said that the issue was becoming more critical in view of climate change and related environmental concerns. “I would urgeawater management approach that is localised.

Itshouldempower village and neighbourhood communities and build their capacity to manage, allocate and value their water resources,” Kovind said while addressing the 5th India WaterWeek-2017here.Noting that any 21st century water policy must factor in the“concept of value of water”, he said that it must encourage all stake holders,including communities, to expand their minds and to “graduate from allocating a quantum of water to allocating a quantum of benefits”.

He said thatin India water was centralto some of the Government’s flagship programmes. “I would go to the extent of saying that the modernisation of India is dependent on the modernisation of its water management,” he said, adding that it was not surprising as the country supported 17 per cent of the global population but only had four per cent of the world’s water resources.

He said that better and more efficient use of water was a challenge for the Indian agriculture and industry alike. Kovind said that the focus are as for ‘Make in India’ programme were manufacture of electronichardware,computersandmobile phones-which requirealarge volume of water.

Currently, 80 per cent of water in India isusedby agriculture andonly 15per centby industry,he said, adding thatinthe coming years “this ratio will change”.

On one hand, groundwater sources were being savagely exploited and depleted in some northern and western States, he said and on theother, in eastern andnorth-eastern States, there was the challenge of overflowingriversandregularflooding.“Yearafter year, this damages human habitation and is leading to tragedies in countless families. Onlyamulti-stakeholderandmulti-pronged approach can address suchcalamities,” he said.

“The total demand for water will also rise. Efficiencyofwateruseandreuse,therefore, has to be built into the blueprint of industrial projects. Business and industry need to be a part of the solution,” he said. To make agriculture more remunerative and for more prosperity of farming communities,KovindsaidthattheGovernment hadintroducedmanynewprojects,including ‘Waterfor Every Farm’, ‘Per Drop, More Crop’and‘DoublingFarmIncomesby2022’. Under the ‘Make in India’ mission, Kovind said that India was working to sharply increase the share of manufacturing intheGDPfromthe current 17per cent to25percentby2025.Stressingthat“access to water is a byword for human dignity”, he said thatforIndia, providing safe drinking waterto a population spread across six hundredthousandvillagesandurbanareas is “not just a project proposal but a sacred commitment”.