President for over-arching law on water use

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on October 28, 2013 Published on October 28, 2013

“Our irrigation system has to encourage judicious use of water.”

President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday called for an over-arching legal framework on water use and management.

Inaugurating the three-day India Water Forum 2013 here, organised by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) with support from the Urban Development Ministry, the Drinking Water and Sanitation Ministry and World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program, Mukherjee said concerted effort was required to make policies and regulations clear, co-ordinated and comprehensive in the water sector.

He said the country should focus on “The 3 R strategy of reduce, recycle and reuse” with respect to water use, especially in agriculture.

“Our irrigation system has to encourage judicious use of water and efforts at recycling and reuse of waste water have to be doubled,” he said, adding that rainwater harvesting had to be popularised by dovetailing it with rural development schemes.

Mukherjee called for a paradigm shift from “water resources development” to “integrated water resource management”.

Minister of Water Resources Harish Rawat said the Government was committed to finding solutions, adding that the Union Cabinet had declared 2013 as “Water Conservation Year” to sensitise public opinion about the importance of efficient use and conservation of water.

Industries and municipalities need to be mandated to adopt water recycling practices, he said. “We are trying to address these challenges through the National Water Mission …to enhance water use efficiency by 20 per cent,” he added.

R.K. Pachauri, Director-General, TERI, warned of “water stress” in India and called for urgent institutional measures and policy changes to deal with the situation.

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Published on October 28, 2013
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