A pan political commitment to national water security: Prof M S Swaminathan
Today (22 March 2016) is observed as the World Water Day. The importance of water in all aspects of human life needs hardly any elaboration. In our country, inter-state water conflicts are growing. There is urgent need for both augmenting supplies and managing demand. In the area of demand management, our Prime Minister has already emphasised the need for more crop per drop of water. The conjunctive use of water involving ground and surface water sources is equally important. One neglected area which I hope will receive attention during this World Water Day is utilisation of sea water which constitutes 97% of world water resource. Sea water farming for coastal area prosperity should become more widespread. Below sea level farming is now possible through sylvi-aquaculture practices. The Kerala Government has already established a Research and Training Centre for Below Sea Level Farming. We also need to establish Farm Schools in the fields of outstanding farmers who are showing the way for using the available water in the most effective and economical manner. Rainwater harvesting both in farms and homes must become mandatory. Inter-linking of rivers on a win-win situation among states is another opportunity. I hope during this World Water Day, conflicts for water will give way to cooperation in water saving and sharing through a pan-political commitment to national water security.
M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) established in 1988 is a not-for-profit trust. MSSRF was envisioned and founded by Professor M S Swaminathan, agriculture scientist with proceeds from the First World Food Prize that he received in 1987.