The Centre plans to come out with an updated version of the National Water Policy with key changes in water governance structure and regulatory framework, besides setting up a National Bureau of Water Use Efficiency, said Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Minister for Jal Shakti.

Hydrological boundaries, rather than administrative or political boundaries, should be part of the water governance structure in the country, and the Centre is currently talking to the States to build a consensus, said Shekhawat at the valedictory function of the sixth India Water Week 2019 (IWW-2019).

Building consensus among the States within the Constitutional framework is a pre-condition for making the changes, the Minister said, adding that water conservation, along with water harvesting and judicious and multiple use of water, are key to tackling the water challenges that India faces.

Calling for the rejuvenation and revitalisation of traditional water bodies and resources through the age-old conservation methods, he stressed upon the need for disseminating modern water technologies in an extensive fashion. Dwelling on the idea of water trade, Shekhawat said that water-surplus States such as Chhattisgarh can gain by sharing the resource with the deficient ones.

Speaking on the occasion, UP Singh, Department of Water Resources Secretary, said there is a need to update the National Water Policy of 2012 in the light of new challenges, especially the adverse effects of climate change.

Batting for policy changes for giving incentive to crops using less water, he said that participatory groundwater management should be promoted in a big way to maintain quality and sustainability.

IWW-2019 was attended by 1,500 delegates from India and abroad, including 63 delegates from 28 countries.

Japan and European Union were were the partner countries of the mega event.