On the occasion of “India Water Week 2015” function organized by Ministry of Water Resources in New Delhi, Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said that efficient water management of water resources can be achieved through the convergence of resources/programmes of various Ministries/Departments.
He added further that water conservation, groundwater re-charge and rainwater harvesting by adopting appropriate technologies and funding mechanisms, have to be undertaken in and outside watershed development projects, with the resources of Ministries of Rural Development, Agriculture, Water Resources, Urban Development and Power etc. Enhancing productivity of water, using micro-irrigation, supplemental and deficit irrigation, is possible only through combined efforts of the Ministries of Agriculture, Water Resources and Power.
The Minister said that marginal changes in irrigation practices will not be enough to increase productivity. To increase growth in irrigated agriculture, efficiency of the existing systems is to be enhanced; water so saved should be utilized to increase irrigation intensity and farming practices improved with modern inputs and technologies.
Singh said that heavy subsidies in electricity consumed for agriculture have tended to encourage wasteful use of energy and also wasteful use of water. This has also encouraged farmers to overdraw water from deep aquifers, thus causing water quality deterioration in many cases. Despite huge significance of ground water in agriculture growth, it is heading for crisis and needs urgent understanding and attention, he added.
He said further that food security is of supreme national importance for maintaining social harmony, equity and national integrity of India. Given the growing population and income of the country, the challenge is to manage the competitive demands on water for industrial, household and energy purposes while meeting the food security targets, he added.