Delhi: Govt, industry, RWA body discuss water conservation measures

Water Innovation Summit 2019 was organized in Delhi on Sept 18-19, by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) which was attended by delegations from Australia, Singapore, CII, RWAs, Govt of India besides the Member of Parliaments and CMDs of very many corporate houses


Secretary, Ministry of Jal Shakti, UP Singh brought out very many new concepts for water conservation like- to constitute water councils in states, joining of smaller water bodies, introduce a water head in the budget, calculate water foot prints like carbon foot prints (a cup of coffee needs more than 100 litres of water and exporting a ton  of Basmati Rice amounts to exporting 10 cubic meters of water-one cubic meter is equal to 1,000 litres), water security act be made, among such measures.

Chairman of ELICO Ltd, Ramesh Datla brought out very many practical points for conserving water like- linking crop pattern (maize in lieu of paddy), joining the 17 ministries connected with water into one ministry (four have joined, 13 are still remaining), involve trans-genders in creating new water bodies etc. CII, the organizing body pledged that they will recharge 10 million litres of water after this two-day water summit or the quantity of water used, whichever is more.

The Water Man of India, Rajendra Singh promised to join 7th NCRWA and said that complex problems have simple solutions. Give the ownership of smaller bodies of water to the group of people who controls them accountability will automatically creep in. He informed that in Cambodia, the education level is low but the accountability level is high and hence efficiency in conserving water has been rated at 300% there.

Convener of Confederation of Resident Welfare Associations (CoRWA) and Chairman of RWA Federation, Ghaziabad, Col Tejandra Pal Tyagi (retd) raised the point of bringing water wastage in to the ambit of crime under Environment Protection Act. He also suggested that henceforth Gypsum Plaster should be used on the interior walls in all buildings, govt. or private, as it does not require curing. QRTs should be created under annual maintenance. Heads of all ULBs for maintenance of machinery and plants committed for water conservation. He also raised the issue of Capt Dastur Plan of eliminating periodic droughts and floods.

Ranju Minhas, a noted environmentalist and a Team Member of CoRWA suggested that corporates and industries should allocate CSR funding on raising awareness on preventing water pollution happening from homes. She demanded that there should be a ban on harmful chemicals being used in toiletries in households, because 80% of waste water gets critically polluted due to such harmful chemicals which are banned in other countries. Regulatory authority is issuing incentives to industries which are using best practices for waste water treatment and its reuse, Similar incentives must be offered to communities and RWAs.

Ashish Singh, another member of the CoRWA Team, raised the issue of water pollution caused by carpet and dying industry as majority of these industries are not complying with the water treatment norms. This was causing ground water pollution and also polluting the water bodies and rivers in the vicinity. Joseph Vergheese, yet another member of the CoRWA team, actively participated in the deliberations and subsequently in the Door Darshan Debate. reporter