Bring down water requirements for agriculture: former ISRO Chairman K Kasturirangan

There are systems to conserve water not just now but also in ancient times, and "we need to bring them up", former Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation, K Kasturirangan said.

By: PTI | Hyderabad | Published:June 13, 2017 4:19 pm
isro, k kasturirangan, india news, indian express news The former member (Science) of the now-defunct Planning Commission said rainfall in the coming years is likely to be “highly skewed”. (Express Photo)

India needs to promote agricultural practices that need less water for crop cultivation and give thrust to water conservation and harvesting over the next one decade to avert crisis of shortage, according to an eminent scientist. Calling for a holistic approach towards water conservation, including recharging of structures, the former Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation, K Kasturirangan said agriculture in India, particularly paddy cultivation, consumes substantial amount of water. “There are agricultural practices that are coming up now which needs much less water,” the former Rajya Sabha member told PTI.

“There are methods that are scientifically coming up where water requirements for agriculture is slowly brought down. We need to bring it down. It’s an important area,” the winner of civilian honour Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan said.

The former member (Science) of the now-defunct Planning Commission said rainfall in the coming years is likely to be “highly skewed”.

“So, water precipitation will not be uniform across the country. Therefore you need strategies where, whenever you get excess rainfall in any place, you should have method to managing that,” Kasturirangan said.

“There has to be strategies to harvest it, keeping it with limited amount of evaporation,” he said.

There are systems to conserve water not just now but also in ancient times, and “we need to bring them up”, Kasturirangan said. “There has to be something holistic about the way we want to manage our water”.

Noting that Indian subcontinent receives fairly good amount of rainfall, he said: “What is more important is how well we are able to manage this water by creating the right type of management system, conservation, preservation, optimal use of water and reducing the water for agriculture.”

“These are some of the things that has to be brought into the picture in the coming five to 10 years so that this (water shortage) will not become a crisis for the country,” Kasturirangan added.

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  1. M
    Manoj Singh
    Jun 14, 2017 at 11:08 pm
    Very much agreed with your comments sir. There is a need to revive traditional methods of conservation of water whether in field or at household level. The water table in some of the areas of Southern Indian states like Tamilnadu and Karnataka has already gone down (>1000 ft.) and impact of climate change is already visible in the form of prolonged drought. Most of the marginalized and poor farming communities of India have been affected due to such effects. Thus, community based adaptation measures is the need of the hour where communities are sensitized about ill effect of climate change and they make their own action plans (Community Action Plans) that can be further shared at Gram Sabhas level, so that bottom up approach of effective Governance planning related to sustainable use of natural resources like water can be taken up effectively.
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