Raising concerns over the declining water availability in the country, Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar on Friday called on the Agriculture sector to conserve water as it is consuming nearly 85 per cent of the available resource.
Speaking at The Energy and Resources Institute’s (TERI) World Sustainable Development Summit, Javadekar said, “The availability of water when we became independent was 5,000 litre per capita. Now it has become 1,100 litres. The decline of water availability because of population growth and various uses. Agriculture is consuming nearly 85 per cent of the water. So the first saving should come from agriculture.”
The Union Minister stressed upon modern technologies like sprinkling and drip irrigation for agriculture. He said agroforestry should be improved because that helps in the percolation of water.
Javadekar raised concerns about the shrinking of rivers.
“Rivers are also shrinking. In the last seven years, we have increased the tree cover by 15,000 square kilometres. River linking is a major thing in this regard. We are also incentivising farmers to take up divert to crops that require less water. We are creating renewable power through water resources.”