Integrated water management focus for attaining sustainance

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New Delhi, Apr 4 (UNI) In an effort to attain sustainable management in water resources the government is moving towards Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) to tackle all water related issues in an comprehensive manner blending new technologies with traditional systems.

The IWRM approach has become the focus involving engineering, socio-economic and enviromental aspects and look at the problem in totality. It will entail developing hydro power, while at the same time tackling lowering ground water table and natural disasters like floods and droughts. Traditional system of water management through building ponds and smaller tanks is also being integrated with camal and pumped ground water irrigation. "An integrated approach would minimise the conflicts among the multiplicity of agencies working in the water sector, each having different goals, motivation and dynamics", an official note said.

IWRM is based on the perception of water as an integral part of the ecosystem, a natural resource and a pivot for socio-economic development and the quantity and quality determine the nature of its utilization. In developing and using water resources, priority has to be given to the satisfaction of basic needs and the safeguarding of ecosystems, Water Ministry sources said.

Integrated water resources management, including the integration of land and water related aspects, have to be carried out at basin or sub-basin levels and the objective would be to promote a dynamic, interactive and multisectoral approach to water resources management, including the identification and protection of potential sources of freshwater supply that integrates technological, socio-economic environmental, ecological and human health considerations.

It would also help plan for sustainable development and rational utilisation, protection, conservation and management of water resources based on community needs and priorities within the framework of national water policy. The purpose is also to design, implement and evaluate projects and programmes that are socially appropriate and economically efficient within clearly defined strategies based on a participatory approach.

There is a need to strengthen or develop as required the appropriate institutional, legal and financial mechanisms to ensure that water policy and its implementation are a catalyst for sustainable social progress and economic growth.

The rationale of this proposed strategy is to meet the challenges in such a manner that development is sustained and the growth process does not disturb the delicately balanced environmental and ecological equilibrium, which are predominantly water centric.

Hence a project-centric development aggressively pursued during the early plans for catering specific need is sought to replaced by IWRM as it is better suited under the present circumstances for optimising the water resources allocation among competing multi-sectoral water demand/uses, sources said.

It is evident that suitably prioritizing the water demand from the socio-economic environmental point of view and simultaneously maintaining harmony among the different users, be it sectors or regions, should form the core of any long term vision that is being formulated for the water resources development and management.


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