Rajendra “waterman” Singh on Thursday suggested that Jharkhand should fall back on its rural population to develop a water conservation mechanism.
The Magsaysay Award winner pointed out that the state government and the corporate world were yet to conserve water. But since several villagers had already taken up the task, the state needed to find out such people and consult them for water harvesting.
Jharkhand being a plateau, only village people would be able to come up with applicable techniques, Singh said.
“As long as we respect geo-cultural diversity, we will survive and live safely. Otherwise, the rise of the ‘water market’ is bringing the day of destruction closer,” he added referring to the business of treated (mineral) water worth Rs 50,000 crore in India.
Against this gigantic figure, he said, all isolated efforts to conserve water naturally might become minuscule. “The need of the hour is to develop a unified mechanism for saving water,” Singh said.
The eminent water conservationist was addressing a national seminar on “convergence in sustainable water management in rural areas” organised by State Institute of Rural Development (SIRD) on its premises in Ranchi.
Engineers, panchayat and civil society organisation representatives and SIRD officials were present.
As the name suggests, the seminar aimed to provide a national forum to stakeholders across the country for designing a roadmap for sustainable water management.
Singh concluded that water conservation and maintaining ecological harmony indigenously was the only key to sustenance of mankind.
Earlier, during the programme, another prominent water conservationist Simon Oraon was felicitated by Singh.