New Delhi, January 5
A day after Punjab and Haryana failed to reach an agreement on the construction of the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said it was the responsibility of every state to make water a subject of cooperation and coordination.
Staring at shortage
- The per capita water availability by the year 2047 is estimated to fall to around 1,300 cubic metres
- Anything below 1,700 cubic metres mark is defined as “water stress” situation
Addressing the first state ministers’ conference on water today, the Prime Minister urged state governments to ensure people’s participation in water conservation movement along the same lines as the Swachh Bharat campaign.
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Seeks public participation over water conservation
“Public ownership of a campaign is the true measure of its success. It raises people’s consciousness about the campaign and their appreciation about the scale of the effort and investments,” said the Prime Minister.
He said: “When the public is associated with a campaign, they grasp its seriousness better and due to that, they develop a sense of ownership.”
The Prime Minister in his virtual address said 70 lakh hectares in the country had been brought under micro irrigation, saving large quantities of water and the “Per Drop More Crop” programme was gaining momentum.
He urged panchayats to prepare an action plan for the next five years on subjects ranging from water supply to cleanliness and waste management. “States should adopt ways where water budget is prepared at the panchayat level, based on how much water is required in which village and what work is required for it,” the PM said, adding that instead of waiting for the rains, states must plan ahead to harvest rain water.
The two-day Water Vision @ 2047 conference being held in Bhopal from today seeks to prepare India for the estimated demand.
“Water requirements assessed by 2047 will exceed the total quantum of water available with us. The harvestable component of water as of date is somewhere around 1,180 billion cubic metres and our requirement as on date is 880 bcm. But by 2047 the demand is going to surpass the total harvestable component. So it is going to be critical, and we must prepare for it,” Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat told The Tribune today.
He said that 50 years ago, the annual per capita availability of water was around 5,000 cubic metres but this has reduced due to 3.5 times growth in the population since then.
The per capita water availability by 2047 is estimated to fall to around 1,300 cubic metres, and anything below 1,700 cubic metres is defined as “water stress”.
Shekhawat said the conference would have every state present its vision to deal with the situation at hand.
The minister said the major solutions centred on water use efficiency in agriculture; recycling and reuse of sewage; ground water recharge activities; rain water harvesting; and inculcation of water sensitivity in the minds of people. The conference comes a day after Punjab and Haryana failed to reach an agreement on the construction of the SYL canal for river water sharing. The matter will be taken up by the Supreme Court on January 19, when the SYL case is listed for hearing.
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