Centre to soon come out with updated National Water Policy
30 September 2019
The centre will soon come out with an updated version of the National Water Policy to effect key changes in water governance structure and regulatory framework, besides setting up of a National Bureau of Water Use Efficiency.
Speaking at the valedictory session of the 6th India Water Week-2019 in New Delhi, union minister for Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Sekhawat said that hydrological boundaries rather than administrative or political boundary should become part of the water governance structure in the country. For this, he said, consensus building among the states within the constitutional framework is a necessary pre-condition.
Shekhawat said that water conservation along with water-harvesting and judicious and multiple use of water are key to tackling water challenges in India. Calling for rejuvenation and revitalisation of traditional water bodies and resources through the age-old conservation methods, the minister underlined the need for dissemination of modern water technologies in an extensive fashion. Dwelling on the idea of water trade, Shekhawat said that water surplus states like Chhattisgarh can gain by sharing the resource with the deficient ones. He also asked states to collect data on water resources and to share it with others with an open mind.
In his address, minister of state for Jal Shakti Rattan Lal Kataria said that demand side management of water should get priority over the supply side management and called for massive conservation of the scarce resource.
Underlining the need for recycling and reuse of water, he said that integrated water management is a tool for poverty reduction and sustainable economic development.
Speaking on the occasion, secretary, Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, UP Singh said that National Water Policy of 2012 needs major updation in the light of new challenges, especially the ill-effects of climate change. Batting for policy changes for giving incentive to crops using less water, Singh said that participatory ground water management should be promoted in a big way to maintain quality and sustainability.
Ministry of Jal Shakti has been organising India Water Week since 2012 as an international event to focus on water related issues. Five editions of India Water Week have been organised so far. Water resources ministers of various states have attended the inaugural function. About 1,500 delegates from India and abroad participated in this event, which included about 63 delegates from 28 countries.