Sustainability-oriented approach can tackle water security threats: Experts

New Delhi, Nov 18 (IANS) A sustainability-oriented approach is required to address critical threats to India’s water security, experts suggested here on Wednesday.

A panel of experts including members of Indian National Association of the Club of Rome, Development Alternatives and environmentalists sat here to discuss the new water security models.

“A new, simple and sustainability-oriented approach is needed, which must now become the central subject of debate in our country,” said Ranjit Barthakur, who serves as advisor to government and private enterprises in pursuit of health care services, environmental issues, tourism and social transformation.

Considering that water security was one of the most important goals for the future health of India, the national debate needed to change in order to develop a water security policy framework, he said.

Experts at the conference analysed three critical pillars of sustainable water management area including viable economy, social equity and healthy environment.

Ashok Khosla, chairman of Development Alternatives and co-chair of United Nations Environment Programme’s International Resource Panel (UNEP-IRP), stated that the country needed to move away from the conventional approaches towards tackling these environmental issues.

“We have to move away from the conventional, narrowly defined approaches which primarily focus on specific projects and activities like the building of big dams, the large scale transfer of river waters, ill-conceived river action plans, unrestricted pumping of ground waters and the widespread contamination of ground and surface water by extensive use of agro-chemicals,” he said.

“We need to think in terms of holistic sustainable solution for India.”

S. Ramodarai, chairman of Indian National Association of the Club of Rome, said the views must crystallise towards the common goals in order to attain a healthy environment.

“Things are happening but are oriented in different directions and goals. We need to focus on a particular agenda to tackle such an important issue,” he said.

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