Deccan Chronicle

Chennai: Drought impact higher due to mismanagement, says Waterman

Deccan Chronicle | DC Correspondent

Published on: May 29, 2017 | Updated on: May 29, 2017

Dr Rajendra Singh is a renowned water conservationist from Rajasthan who won the Stockholm Water Prize.

Dr Rajendra Singh

Dr Rajendra Singh

Chennai: Dr Rajendra Singh is a renowned water conservationist from Rajasthan who won the Stockholm Water Prize, an award known as ‘the Nobel Prize for water’, in 2015. Dr Rajendra Singh  referred to as ‘Waterman of India’, shares his thoughts  and on water scarcity in Tamil Nadu and means to overcome it.

What kind of a model would be suitable for Tamil when it comes to conserving water and increasing retention capacity?
TN is a prosperous state, but due to paddy cultivation that is not kept in check the crop pattern, and also high extraction of water for various purposes than the replenishment, there is a shortage of water.  Drought impact is higher due to mismanagement of available water. Lakes are not maintained properly and sewer water mixing with water in lakes goes unchecked.

What is the need of the hour in TN?
Community members, government, technocrats and activists need to work together to bring about effective management of water. Each stakeholder should know his role and responsibility, which would lead to proper action towards conserving water.

The government is now spending huge amounts, to the tune of Rs 980 crore for desilting, cleaning water bodies. But there is no water available to be stored....

Water will be available when the rains arrive, but the focus of government was never on recharging aquifers. Will this desilting help recharge the underground water level? 
Sustainability has never been of importance — our civil engineers who plan projects don’t think of sustainability as a goal. 
The water shortage crisis is not just a result of a drought of nature, but also a drought of the mind, where we fail to give importance to sustainable utilisation of water at hand. 

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