Central Water Commission Chairman A.K. Bajaj has cautioned people about severe challenges in the form of ever-increasing population, steady rise in irrigation activities, rapid expansion of industries, urbanisation and modern living that are set to exert tremendous pressure on the available water resources.

The demand for water, whether for domestic, irrigation or industrial purposes, has been on the rise and water, which was available in abundance, was showing signs of scarcity in India and abroad. Several challenges in the form of declining per capita availability, deterioration in quality, over exploitation of groundwater resources leading to soil salinity and lowering of water table had already come to the fore while climate change was another complex issue faced by people today.

Mr. Bajaj participated as chief guest at the 208{+t}{+h} birth anniversary celebrations of Sir Arthur Thomas Cotton organised by the State chapter of the Institute of Engineers of India here on Saturday. It was necessary for the planners, engineers in particular, to draw an action plan for achieving higher standards of efficiencies in water use in various sectors.

Cooperation urged

There was a need to ensure cooperation and involvement of all agencies concerned, including the government, NGOs and actual users by establishing appropriate linkages.

Irrigation Department Principal Secretary (projects) S.K. Joshi said there was not much change in the problems like delays, time overruns and others in the construction of irrigation projects which Sir Arthur Cotton himself faced during his times. But the only distinguishing thing was the commitment of that a single individual which ensured completion of major irrigation projects for which he was still remembered.

IEI past Chairman G. Prabhakar, who spoke about the life and times of Sir Arthur Cotton, recalled how the “father of irrigation” went ahead with construction of anicuts that converted the State into rice the bowl of the country. IEI State Chairman S. Nagabhushana Rao welcomed the gathering.

Keywords: Water crisis

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