Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Sushri Uma Bharti has said that all sections of the society will have to work together for water conservation. Inaugurating India Water Week 2016 in New Delhi today. The Minister said that water conservation is very essential for the sustainable development of the country. She said that increasing demand for water for various purposes on account of growing population, industrialization and urbanization pose serious challenges of creating facilities for conservation and proper utilization of available water resources. She said, at the same time, the deterioration of the water quality – of river water as also of the ground water – are serious issues. The likely impact of climate change on water resources adds to our challenges. The Minister said “We have to address these issues on priority. Efforts are required at all levels and joint efforts are necessary to ensure that all sections of the society get benefitted from water, the precious gift of the nature to us”. Sushri Bharti said Water for All: Striving Together” is not merely the theme for this year’s India Water Week but also the need of the hour for all of us.
Referring to inter-linking of rivers the Water Resources Minister said Government of India is fully committed for water security through implementation of Interlinking of Rivers Projects. She said ever since the Government has come to power in 2014, Interlinking of Rivers (ILR) Programme under National Perspective Plan (NPP) has been taken up on a high Priority in right earnest. Sushri Bharti said “I am confident that the work on Ken-Betwa link would commence shortly”. Referring to Jal Kranti Abhiyan the Minister said, “I wish to pursue water conservation as a mass movement”. She said the objectives of Jal Kranti Abhiyan are strengthening and grass root involvement of all stakeholders including Panchayati Raj Institutions and local bodies in the water security and development schemes like Participatory Irrigation Management (PIM) and to encourage the adoption/utilization of traditional knowledge in water resources conservation and its management. Welcoming the participation of Israel as a partner country the Minister said that she considers Israel as her “guru” who can teach the world “how to save water”.
The Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs and Information and Broadcasting Shri Arun Jaitely underlined the importance of water conservation in the agricultural development of the country. He said investment in irrigation projects show immediate results vis-a-vis investment in other sectors. Underlining the contribution of agriculture in India’s economy the Minister observed that during the past two years we had erratic monsoon which calls for more attention on water management. While noting that irrigation is a state subject, Shri Jaitely said that centre will extend all out help to states in completing their irrigation projects.
Speaking on the occasion Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Shri Prakash Javadekar said that Government has managed to release industrial pollutant flowing into river Ganga by 30 per cent. Union Agriculture Minister Shri Radha Mohan Singh said that per capita availability of water in the country has gone down drastically which requires better water managements efforts. Union Minister for Rural Development, Drinking Water and Sanitation and Panchayati Raj Chaudhary Birendra Singh said the prime concern of the Government is, therefore, not just the creation of additional water related infrastructure but also of ensuring quality, sustainability and efficiency in water supply service. The Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan said that his state has extended its full support to the Ken-Betwa river link project. The Agriculture Minister of Israel Mr. Uri Ariel thanked the Government of India for inviting his country as partner country of the event and expressed the hope that India and Israel both will benefit from each other’s experience in the field of water conservation and management.
The Union Water Resources Minister Sushri Bharti also launched a user friendly android based mobile application “Jal Sanchayan” which comprises all components of rainwater harvesting in single platform. It allows user to know from location conditions and interactive module enable user to calculate potential rainwater to be harvested in user’s location. The fourth edition of India Water Week will be observed upto 08 April, 2016. The theme for this year’s India Water week is “Water for all: Striving together”. Israel is associated as the partner country for this mega event. About 1500 delegates from India and 20 other countries are attending the conclave. The event has been divided into Seminars (eight nos.), Brainstorming sessions (six nos,), Panel Discussions (seven nos.), Case studies (six nos.) and Side Events (five nos.). These events will take place at ITPO, Pragati Maidan. Apart from this, an Exhibition ‘Water Expo-2016’ showcasing the technologies and solutions in water resources sector has also been organised at Hall No. 9, Pragati Maidan for the benefit of delegates.
It is a multi-disciplinary conference enriching the theme with dialogue by national and international community alongwith the exhibition. Delegates at the event will be immensely benefitted from Israeli experience in efficient management of water resources as well as other national and international experiences. Many reputed National and International Organizations, Research Institutes, Educational Institutions and NGOs from water resources, agriculture, power sectors etc. are participating in the event to share their knowledge and experience in the sector. Most important stakeholder of water, i.e. farmers from different parts of the country are also participating in this important event as a part of INPIM Programme on Participatory Irrigation Management and share their experiences.
The multi-disciplinary dialogue will be addressing the important initiatives of the Water Resources Ministry and priority programmes like Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojna (PMKSY), Jal Kranti Abhiyan, More crop per drop, Interlinking of Rivers, etc. apart from other important topics such as (a) Water and Health – managing water quality (b) Agriculture and Irrigation (c) Water and Power – hydro and thermal (d) Industrial water efficiency (e) Water supply and sanitation for rural and urban areas (f) Environment, climate change and water resources sector. Partner country Israel will exclusively organise two sessions viz. (i) Role of Micro Irrigation in existing command and (ii) Israel makes in India – COE’s and commercial success stories, water management. International Commission for Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) has organized first in the series “India Irrigation Forum-2016” as a part of India Water Week-2016. Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India has been organising India Water Week since 2012 as an international event to focus on water related issues. Three editions of India Water Week have been organised so far in 2012, 2013 and 2015.