The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, recently met the Chief Ministers of 11 drought-affected states and highlighted the importance of water conservation and optimum water utilization. At the meetings, the Prime Minister stressed that water conservation should be a continuous activity and measures should be taken in the short term, medium term and long term to conserve our limited water resources.
To take this idea forward and intensify efforts, the Minister for Drinking Water and Sanitation organized a ‘National Workshop on Pre-Monsoon Water Conservation Measures’ in the capital today. The workshop was organized with the intent to engage officials from various State Governments, NGOs, domain experts and industry personnel and share best practices on Water Conservation and Rainwater Harvesting.
The Union Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Shri Birender Singh, in his inaugural address, expressed the need to make full use of monsoon water, in view of the falling groundwater levels. He stressed the importance of involving local communities to conserve water. He said that we need to take ownership of water as a resource and a joint effort is required from all levels of government and local communities. He underlined the need for promoting drip irrigation and sprinklers over flood irrigation. He emphasized that we need to move away from water intensive crops to crops which are high yielding and need less water.
The Minister of State for Drinking Water and Sanitation, Shri Ram Kripal Yadav, in his address, urged State government officials, NGOs and other organizations to make conscious efforts in ensuring conservation of rainwater. The Secretary, Shri Parameswaran Iyer, mentioned the need to focus on the 3R’s – Reduce, Recharge and Recycle – which are the critical success factors for ensuring water security.
Presentations were made at the workshop highlighting successful local initiatives. This included the watershed program in Hivre Bazaar (Maharashtra) and other states; rain water harvesting programme in Tamil Nadu; rain water harvesting system innovations in Kedia Farm Pattern; and Decentralized approaches to Water Conservation in various States. The presentations highlighted the best practices adopted by organizations and their potential of replication across other geographies in India.
The workshop ended with a review session, chaired by the Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, which focused on the Pre-Monsoon Water Conservation measures taken up by the States of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh.