The Standing Committee on Water Resources has advised the Union Ministry to revisit the National Water Policy, 2002, in view of the “looming threat” of climate change and the adaptation strategies that must be drawn in consultation with State governments.
In its first report tabled in Lok Sabha, the parliamentary panel observed that in its draft National Water Mission document as part of the Prime Minister’s National Action Plan on Climate Change, the Ministry outlined measures that need to be adopted to mitigate the impact of climate change.
The draft document focuses on conservation of water, minimising wastage and equal distribution of water as well as enhancing efficiency of water use. The Committee chaired by Beni Prasad Verma, recommended that the Ministry take into account the suggestions given by various stakeholders including the State governments and experts on the issue of climate change.
The panel wanted to be kept informed about the various assessments done by experts on the impact of climate change. It urged the Ministry to chalk out an innovative and attractive strategy to enable the States to adopt the Model Ground Water Bill for efficient use of groundwater, considering the fast receding groundwater table. So far the Model Bill has been enacted by only 11 States.