New Delhi: Union Minister for Jal Shakti Shri Gajendra Singh Sekhawat said that India is eager to share the best practices and also to learn from experiences of others on all important issues relating to water, as such discussions help in fine tuning policies and strategies for optimal utilization of this valuable resource. Addressing the 6th India Water Week-2019 here, Shri Sekhawat said, India has forged and strengthened international cooperation with 14 countries like Israel, Canada, Japan, Germany and UK in this regard. He assured the international community present in the event that any idea, strategy or plan of action which can be worth sharing is welcome, as India is aware of its responsibility towards securing a better future for our planet and we are determined to do the needful for accomplishing this goal.
The Minister said that in the face of geographical diversity of India and the problems related to waters, Ministry has come up with Jal Shakti Abhiyan, which is a collaborative effort of the Central and State Governments to accelerate progress on water conservation activities in the most water stressed blocks and districts of India. Under this campaign, the entire Government of India machinery of over 1000 senior Central Government officers have joined the States to promote focused interventions for water collection and conservation, including restoration and renovation of traditional water bodies.
The theme of this year’s India Water week inaugurated by the President Shri Ram Nath Kovind is “Water cooperation: Coping with 21st Century Challenges”. Japan and European Union have been associated as partner countries for this mega event.
In his address, the Minister of State for Jal Shakti Shri Rattan Lal Kataria said that cooperation is a must for a sustainable tomorrow and Jal Shakti Ministry is an example in itself of such cooperation. He said that for better water governance, Indian government has merged several departments related to water and sanitation into a new integrated Ministry of Jal Shakti. Prior to this landmark move, the institutional landscape for water in India had been somewhat fragmented, with about seven ministries and more than 10 departments having a say on different aspects of water and waste management. Now all these departments are working in cooperation with each other to achieve water security in the country.
Speaking on the occasion, Secretary, Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Shri U.P Singh said that while challenges have always existed in the water sector, climate change is the new elephant in the room. He said, climate change has major implications on water resources and India is particularly vulnerable to this aspect. He, however added that the challenges of water management present an opportunity to convert risk to resilience, poverty to well-being and degraded ecosystems to vibrant ones.
Ministry of Jal Shakti has been organizing India Water Week since 2012 as an international event to focus on water related issues. Five editions of India Water Week have been organized so far. Water Resources Ministers of various States have attended the Inaugural Function. About 1500 delegates from India and abroad are participating in this event, which includes about 63 delegates from 28 countries.
The event has been divided into Seminars (15 nos.), Brainstorming Sessions (4 nos,), Panel Discussions (12 nos.) and Special Session (6 nos.). These events will take place at Vigyan Bhawan. Apart from this, an Exhibition showcasing the technologies and solutions in water resources sector is also being organized at Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA). About 60 organizations are displaying their work in the exhibition
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.