Millennium Post

India has huge population, can't copy other nations in water use and green issues: Environment ministry

Being a unique nation with a huge population to feed, India cannot emulate the model of other countries in managing its water resources and dealing with environmental issues, a top government official said here on Wednesday.

"India cannot look at the model of countries as it is a unique country with a huge population to feed. The country is looking at what can be the best method in environment and water management," Amita Prasad, Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Environment said.

Speaking at a symposium "Too much or Not enough, Managing Water in a Changing Climate" organised jointly by the Canadian High Commission and the Press Club of India, she said that there were several environmental issues and wetland was one of them.

The government was carrying out real-time monitoring and maintaining data of wetland sources whether it were tanks, reservoirs or canals, added Prasad. She said that conserving water does not need big technologies and small technologies need to be given priority. Citing an example of sugarcane crop which needs lots of water, she said that several sugarcane growing areas had switched to drip irrigation, adding that such type of irrigation needs to be adopted on a large scale. Replying to question on adopting traditional methods of water conservation, Prasad felt that traditional knowledge was being ignored. It was the time that such storehouse of knowledge was protected and put to use.

Earlier, Dr Mark Johnson, an Ecohydrologist from Canada made a detailed presentation on managing water in the scenario of changing climate.

Speaking about the depletion of groundwater in several parts of India, he said that Northern India was showing depletion in ground water.

Johnson also cited the World Health Organisation report which stated that two billion people were drinking contaminated water. He said that food production was having the largest human impact on environment and agriculture was the biggest water user.

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