PUNE: Water and climate change are subjects that should be addressed across the country. These issues have crossed national boundaries, said Union Minister for Ministry of Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on Wednesday.
He was speaking at the inauguration of the second international conference on ‘Sustainable Water Management’ in the city.
“It is true that as per the Constitution of India, rivers are the issues of the states but over 92 per cent of river basins are Centre-state basins. It is scientifically proven that all different aspects of water such as surface water, underground water, lakes and ponds are interconnected. Therefore, it is not possible to move forward on sustainable water management without considering all of them. In such conditions, it is important that all the states should work on sharing data seamlessly and also work at the national level,’’ the Union minister said.
The second international conference on ‘Sustainable Water Management’ began in the city and will continue till November 8.
It is being hosted by the State Water Resource Department.
The global meet has been organised by the Union Ministry of Jal Shakti, Department of Water Resources River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation under the aegis of the National Hydrology Project.
He also mentioned that the issue of water is the bigger challenge for India in comparison to the entire world.
He said, “Water is a bigger challenge for India as compared to the entire world as there is only four per cent of drinking water available, while the 18 per cent of world’s population and almost 20 per cent livestock population lives in India.”
Highlighting the importance of drip irrigation in agriculture, Shekhawat said, “Agriculture is one of the biggest consumers of water not only in India but in the entire world. In India, almost 89 per cent of water is consumed by the agriculture sector. In such condition, from demand-side perspective, we have started promoting micro-irrigation or drip irrigation.”
“I am thankful to the State governments who have started working in this. I have complete faith that in the coming years, if we are able to save 5 to 10 per cent of water in the agriculture sector, we can secure our nation for coming 50 years as India is a country where we get 4,000 billion cubic metres of water from rain and 1,068 mm average rainfall,” the Union minister said.