Mihir Shah on the need for a participatory water policy

acwadam-pgwm-seminar-participants-visiting-randullabad-villageMihir Shah writes in Current Science:

“India is facing a major water crisis which threatens the basic right to drinking water of the citizens; it also puts the livelihoods of millions at risk. Our flood management strategies no longer seem to provide an adequate answer to growing flood frequency and intensity.  It is no wonder then that conflicts across competing uses and users of water are growing by the day. Water use efficiency in agriculture, which consumes around 80% of our water resources, continues to be among the lowest in the world. Why have we reached this point? We suggest that it is our approach to water, which has lost its necessary anchoring in the best science, that is mainly responsible for what is palpably a man-made water crisis.

We need to move away from a narrow focus on engineering and construction towards multi-disciplinary participatory irrigation management (PIM), which has been successfully adopted in many countries across the globe, and also in many of the command areas in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.”

Read the full article in Current Science