INDIA CSR News Network
NEW DELHI: Union Minister for Water Resources Harish Rawat has urged the engineering fraternity to find innovative ways and means to increase availability of water and promote its conservation to meet the growing demand of our rapid population growth. Rawat was chairing the valedictory session of 27th National Engineering Congress here in New Delhi today.
The minister said water is a relatively scares resource in India since we have 16% of the world’s population and only 4% of the usable fresh water. Since the annual availability of fresh water is fixed and demands are bound to expand as production increases, larger production can only be sustained if available water resources are harnessed in a sustainable manner and water use efficiency is increased. Available evidence suggests that with increased use of water, mostly on an unsustainable basis, the country is headed towards a grave water crisis. Irrigation accounts for 80% of our water use. 60% of irrigation water and 80% of rural drinking water comes from ground water. Situation of Ground water is very critical.
In the 12th Plan priority will be given to prevent misuse of ground water in the country. Shri Rawat added that aquifer mapping being undertaken by the Ministry would serve as an important tool in this direction by providing information on availability of ground water to the people in their area. The target of National Water Mission during the 12th Plan particularly increasing water efficiency by 20% have to be achieved. The minister added.
He said lack of any coordination between competing uses and the complete absence of regulation has aggravated the problem inherent in the anarchic drilling from ground water. The fact that neither power nor water is appropriately priced has only promoted the misuse of ground water resources. Water quality issues also arise due to chemical pollution through excessive fertilizer use and reckless dumping of untreated wastes into our rivers. Only about 30% of the total sewage generated in the country is actually treated before being dumped into available water bodies.
Harish Rawat said we have over a million water bodies comprising of lakes, reservoirs and tanks. Concerted efforts are needed to engage in the process of de-siltation and restitution of their water bodies through treatment of their catchment areas. Ground water has to be properly managed so that the rainwater harvesting and ground water recharge match with the water extraction programme.
Also, in the 12th Plan priority will be given to prevent misuse of ground water in the country. Rawat added that aquifer mapping being undertaken by the Ministry would serve as an important tool in this direction by providing information on availability of ground water to the people in their area. The target of National Water Mission during the 12th Plan particularly increasing water efficiency by 20% have to be achieved. The minister added.
The minister also released two books entitled “Engineering Initiatives for Sustainable Development” and “Abhiyantaa Bandhu” on the occasion.
In his concluding remark ,Mr. R.N.Rajput, Chairman of the Congress said the event was organised with an objective to provide the engineers with newer and better horizons to operate in their respective fields of expertise and a common forum where they can meet and interact with their counterparts from other organizations and indulge in knowledge and information sharing. He expressed the hope that This will definitely result in enhancing both national and international cooperation in ensuring sustainable development of engineering.
Nearly 2000 engineers in various fields from across the country and abroad attended the 27th Indian Engineering Congress.