President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday inaugurated the sixth ''India Water Week-2019'' being organised with the theme of ''Water cooperation-coping with 21st-century challenge' at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi.
Speaking on the occasion, the President said that cooperation between different stakeholders is critical if we are to face the challenges concerning water effectively. Water issues are too multi-faceted and complex to be solved by only the government or just one nation. All nations and their water communities have to come together to help build a water sustainable future for all.
Outlining the significance of water conservation he said that we owe it to our future generations to make water conservation a priority.
"Research suggests that about 40 per cent of the world population lives in water-stressed areas. Climate change and related environment concerns have made provisions of clean drinking water even more challenging", he said.
He also hailed the Central government for its Jal Jeevan Mission and said, "I appreciate the government for envisaging the Jal Jeevan Mission, which plans to supply water to every rural household by 2024. This is a bold and ambitious mission as presently only about 18 per cent of rural households in India have access to the piped water supply. It will create infrastructure for rainwater harvesting, groundwater recharge and management of household wastewater."
President Kovind also stated that the government of India has made provision of safe and clean drinking water to its citizens as one of its primary goals and has merged several departments related to water and sanitation into a new integrated Ministry of Jal Shakti.
This ministry will provide a single-window system for all water-related issues ensuring speedier and effective solution, he further added.
Deriving comparisons from the movement around reducing the ''carbon footprint'', President Kovind also called on citizens to reduce their ''water-footprint''.
"We often talk about reducing our ''carbon footprint''. It is time we talk about reducing our ''water-footprint'' as well. We need to encourage agricultural and industrial practices that have the least water-footprint", he said.
The President also stated that managing and mapping of groundwater resources is an important aspect of water governance and the widespread use of boring machines has led to unregulated and excessive exploitation of groundwater.
"We have to value our groundwater and be responsible", he added.
The President emphasised on the need to store and capture the rainwater by utilizing existing reservoirs, dams, other water bodies.
The President said that the ''National Mission for Clean Ganga'' entails numerous projects to ensure the continuous and unpolluted flow of the Ganga. He emphasized that making Ganga and our other rivers clean cannot be a mission of the Government alone. It has to be our collective endeavour and our collective promise.
"Today, we have achieved almost full sanitation coverage and the country is on the verge of becoming open defecation free. We all need to show the same dedication and commitment towards Jal Shakti Abhiyan", he added.
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