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Keep track of water footprint, suggests study

The report has been submitted to the CM—Photo: Ritu Raj Konwar  

A study on Marathwada’s drought condition by the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) Mumbai and Vikas Adhyayan Kendra has recommended keeping a tab on the water footprint of products.

“At present, carbon footprint of all products are checked regularly,” the report said. “On the same lines, every product must explain water footprint, which will inform how much amount of water was used to manufacture it. This should be open to all.”

The report that was submitted to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday is authored by four researchers Nilesh Bane, Renuka Kad, Swarup Pandit and Sidharth Haralkar, who travelled through all eight districts of Marathwada in the past one year. According to the ORF, the report not only talks about the reasons behind drought but also talks about lessons to be learned and what can be done to avoid such condition in future.

The report has also suggested making water metering mandatory, which essentially means that water usage of all users will be measured, to keep a tab on the amount of water being used.

Apart from advocating the need to make it mandatory for bottling industries to recharge groundwater, the report has recommended an independent ministry to tackle drought situation in Maharashtra. Reminding the Chief Minister of Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj’s initiative in 1896 of forming a special ministry to tackle drought, the report asked the State government to do the same.

“Ever since the formation of Maharashtra in 1960, the State has suffered drought many times. Especially, the intensity of man-made drought has increased after globalisation. Despite that, all departments and ministries, which are concerned with drought relief work, function independently. The State must take initiative to set up one such ministry,” said the report, adding that this will pave way for unified functioning to take on drought.

It has also drawn attention towards increasing efficiency of dams and irrigation projects. “At present, data regarding the planned storage capacity of dams and irrigation projects, and actual storage is not available in open. At least that should be made public. It will create huge impact, if the efficiency of those projects is increased even by 5 per cent,” said the report.

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Printable version | May 15, 2021 9:10:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/news/keep-track-of-water-footprint-suggests-study/article8568386.ece

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