Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on Friday said water will be a big challenge for India in the coming years due to population growth, climate change, rapid industrialisation, urbanisation and economic boom.

He was addressing the valedictory function of the 1 st All India Annual States Ministers' Conference on Water Vision@2047.

"We all agree water will be a big challenge in the coming years due to increased population, climate change, rapid industrialisation, urbanisation, and economic boom, all of which have increased water requirements of the nation," he said.

"We will surpass the harvestable component of water resources and, therefore, need to plan towards 2047. Since water is a state subject, it is the responsibility of the states to work towards overcoming this challenge," he added.

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He hailed the conference as a true reflection of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "cooperative federalism" and said all participating states worked together, discussed and learnt from each other's best practices to rise up to the challenge.

Through this Bhopal dialogue, the key takeaways include reduction in water losses during conveyance, promotion of micro-irrigation that has huge potential for regions to avail Central governments corpus fund for water use efficacy, harnessing technology to boost irrigation and water efficiency, and ensuring people's participation, Shekhawat said.

Nurturing the seed

Water is an asset and the use of the terminology "waste" must be stopped as all of it is recyclable and reusable, the minister asserted.

If work on water conservation and efficient utilisation is not carried out diligently, future generations may be forced to use recycled water, he added.

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"Best practices from the international community can be adopted suitably for increasing our water resources. WaterVision@2047 was a seed and we all have begun thinking about this vision. We must take this seed back, plant it and nurture it to ensure water does not become a hindrance to our nation's development," Shekhawat said.

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