Chennai: Warning that a water war may break out across the globe, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu emphasised the significance of saving water.
Addressing the silver jubilee celebrations of the country's premier National Institute of Ocean Technology in Chennai on Sunday, Mr Naidu said there is a need to give a thrust to research activities and innovation in the areas of ocean energy, marine biology and biotechnology for the nation to become a leader in these sectors and NIOT can be a forerunner for achieving the milestone.
He said some people predict there may be water wars across the globe in the future.
“We must try to utilise available sea water and for that you (NIOT) need to do more and more research. You already found some solutions, but it has to be cost-effective because converting saline water to potable water, sweet water is a very good thing that will solve the problem to maximum possible extent but the question is at what cost and that is the issue,” he said.
Stating that the cost-effective desalination initiatives would fulfil the country’s drinking water demands Mr Naidu favoured more research to address the issue.
He lauded the NIOT for its efforts in six key areas of blue economy including fisheries and aquaculture, renewable ocean energy, offshore hydrocarbons, and marine biotechnology. They are all very important for the progress of the nation. The blue economy will help in achieving the 14th of UN Sustainable Development Goals, which is “life below water”.
Naidu said “the process of desalination will get further impetus in the coming days. And I am worried that we may face water problem and water challenges.
Scientific research going on around the world on this issue. We are a huge country with 130 crore population and our requirement is also huge, we have to focus our attention on future challenges along with present challenges,” he said.
Naidu has launched the “Coastal Flood Warning System (CFLOWS-Chennai) App,” for Chennai, developed by the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences.
Union Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan lauded the institute for “catapulting India to the elite club of nations-USA, Japan, France, Germany and Korea-with successful development and usage of 6,000 metre deep Remotely Operated Vehicle.” “The NIOT is involved in developing technologies for a wide range of areas such as harnessing deep ocean resources and development of human operated submersible for deep and shallow waters,” he said.
Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam said the NIOT has undertaken considerable research work and demonstration projects for the welfare of coastal communities in States including Tamil Nadu. The Early Coastal Flood Warniing System for Chennai, launched by Vice-President today will greatly help the State Government to plan even better for flood situations in the future. There is considerable deep sea mineral wealth, within India’s Exclusive Economic Zone.
NIOT’s efforts to undertake deep sea mining of manganese will be a significant measure to add to nation’s wealth, he said.
Earlier, Mr Naidu viewed exhibits on the cutting edge and socially relevant technologies developed by NIOT and released a special postal cover to mark its silver jubilee.
The vice president gave away awards to student winners of competitions conducted by the institution to mark NIOT’s silver jubilee. Among others Ministers D Jayakumar, RB Udhakumar, Secretary, Union Ministry of Earth Sciences, Dr M Rajeevan and Director, NIOT Dr M.A Atmanand took part in the function....