Behavioural change needed to conserve water: MoS Jal Shakti

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Warning that the situation of groundwater is indeed alarming across India, Minister of State for Jal Shakti Prahlad Singh Patel on Tuesday said that there is an urgent need for behavioural change to conserve water.

“For the effective success of a social cause, people need to have determination and commitment and that requires some inspiration and trust in the leadership. We pledged to make our country open defecation free and we have succeeded in it. This is a classic example of behavioural change. A similar behavioural change is required for water conservation. We need to save every drop of water and the change should come from us,” Patel said at an event organised to mark the World Water Day 2022 with the theme ‘Groundwater – Making the invisible visible’.

The event was organized by FICCI and Dhanuka Group in association with IRMA, VAMNICOM, IIPA’s Delhi Regional Chapter and CNRI.

NITI Aayog Member Ramesh Chand said: “India accounts for 18 per cent of the world’s population, 2.4 per cent of land, and 4 per cent of water. If we look at these ratios, we should have been facing scarcity of land more than water. But it is not so.”

“There is a gap between the rate at which demand for water is growing and the rate at which the availability is improving. The biggest explanation is that in the last 30 years our cropping pattern, our technique of crop cultivation, and our preferences have turned water-intensive,” Chand said.

“If we evaluate at a regular interval of a decade, we would find that the quantity of water consumption for producing one kilogram of the crop has increased decade over decade. On the other hand, land used for producing that one kilogram of the crop has reduced over time. We always focused on productivity of crop per hectare or per acre and did not give required attention towards per cubic of water used for growing of crop.”

Earlier, at an event organised by his Ministry, Patel reminded everyone attending, especially school children, that the day should not end up being just an event but to make a pledge that everyone will actually do something of his or her to save every single drop of water.

Coming from the Bundelkhand region that is drought prone, the Minister said, he could not be more happier to share that his home district of Damoh that received water one in every five days, thanks to the efforts being made under the Jal Jeevan Mission, “the drinking water availability to Damoh in Bundelkhand will increase to 65 per cent from just 17 per cent by April this year”.

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