Rainwater harvesting is key to solving India’s water woes: Addl Secretary & Mission Director, National Water Mission

New Delhi: Mr G. Asok Kumar, Additional Secretary & Mission Director, National Water Mission, Department of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Government of India today said, “Rainwater harvesting has become inevitable in the current scenario of water scarcity across the country.” He added, “To optimize the water usage in any industry, we must follow the three R’s – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.”

Addressing FICCI webinar ‘Catch the Rain Infrastructure Preparedness and Awareness Generation’ Mr Kumar said, “Water management is the biggest problem in India. The idea is to save the rainwater be it on the rooftop, compounds, and premises.”

Emphasizing the importance of groundwater recharge, Mr Kumar said, “India is the biggest extractor of groundwater in the world, which is more than China and the US combined.” He further mentioned that National Water Mission’s project ‘Catch the Rain’ has been initiated to nudge states and stakeholders to keep ready rainwater harvesting structures before the onset of the monsoon with emphasis on catch the rain as it falls, where it falls. Stressing on the importance of the participation of corporates and communities in this sector he said, “National Water Mission is a people’s movement and local communities, companies and NGOs must come forward to take this mission ahead.”

Ms Naina Lal Kidwai, Past President, FICCI; Chairman, FICCI Water Mission and Chairman, Advent Private Equity said, “The FICCI Water Mission and National Water Mission are aligned in the common objective of promoting water stewardship. Water is a basic need, and in a COVID-19 situation it assumes a critical role in ensuring recommended hygiene protocols related to hand wash and clean drinking water.” She further mentioned, “Water conservation, water re-use and effective water management must be part of the DNA of an organization.”

Ms Sangeeta Thakral, Head CSR & Sustainability, Diageo India said, “Our water conservation strategy is driven by our goal of better water management, which we are working on to realize through an extensive water-mapping initiative while stressing priority on water-stressed areas. Our water replenishment efforts in 7 states have benefited more than 1.5 lakh people.”

Mr S Vishwanath, Advisor, Biome Environmental Trust said, “Rainwater harvesting is not only about storing water but also about livelihood and generating employment opportunities for entrepreneurs, traditional well-diggers and plumbers.” He mentioned, “Rainwater harvesting is the only option that will work in a city like Bengaluru where water comes from 95kms away and 300mts below the city.”

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