Undertaking eco-restoration of hydrological hotspots, developing ground water sanctuaries in chronically drought-prone areas and use of NREGA effectively could strengthen water security, said M.S. Swaminathan, agricultural scientist.

Addressing an Indo-US workshop on ‘The critical global challenge: managing water resources for food security and sustainability,' on Friday, he said the world's most populous nations, China and India, had come out with policies for sustainable use of water resources.

In India, WAR (Winning, Augmentation and Renovation) for water called for a six-pronged strategy for water security.

The ‘More crop and income per drop of water' movement had helped save water at farm level in various crops ranging from 23 to 89 per cent and the additional yield recorded in the programme ranged from 30 to 50 per cent in different crops with an addition to income of farmers ranging from Rs.2,000 to Rs.20,000 per hectare depending on the crop, Mr. Swaminathan said.

Arabinda Mitra, executive director, Indo–US Science & Technology Forum, said the two countries were in the process of setting up a joint R&D centre for clean energy with an allocation of $10 million to work on solar photovoltaic, energy efficiency buildings and bio-fuel.

An Indo-US R&D Innovation Fund would be created with an allocation of about $4 million for research in agriculture, water, affordable healthcare and information technology. To be equally funded by both sides, it would develop products and technologies to be used in both countries and for the worldwide market, he said.

James B. Milliken, president, University of Nebraska, said there should be partnerships across institutions and countries to meet the challenges arising out of an explosion in population over the next fifty years.

MSSRF and University of Nebraska jointly organised the workshop, sponsored by Indo–US Science & Technology Forum. Ajay Parida, executive director, MSSRF and Ronnie Green, vice chancellor, University of Nebraska– Lincoln, spoke.

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