New Delhi, November 9, 2020: “Our country constitutes about 18 per cent of the world’s population but when it comes to clean and usable water only 4 per cent available to us,” said Hon’ble Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Government of India, during a virtual roundtable: Jalasya Rakshanam, organised by FLO, the Women’s Wing of FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce).
“In the past 50 years, the per capita water availability of our nation has significantly dropped from 5500 cubic meters per person per annum to 1500 cubic meters per person per annum, however, the cause behind this hasn’t been the decrease in the supply of water as the amount received naturally remains the same but the increase in population is a huge reason behind this fall in the per capita availability of water. If the situation persists as it is right now it can be a huge cause of concern for our nation. As a citizen it is our responsibility to conserve water, use it efficiently and wisely and to reuse and recycle for proper utilization,” the Hon’ble Minister said.
Over 844 million people in the world lack access to the basic clean and drinking water globally. In rural areas, women and girls spend 200 million hours and walk an average of 6 km every day for carrying water for their basic needs. Half a billion people in the world suffer from severe water scarcity, mere 0.014 per cent of the water on earth is fresh and easily accessible, 97 per cent is saline and the remaining water cannot be accessed easily.
Jahnabi Phookan, President, FLO, said, “Saving water should come naturally as a response to the challenges arising, access to water is a basic human right and essential for achieving gender equality, sustainable development and poverty alleviation. Women and water are linked together in more than one way. We need to create a robust framework to include more women in decision making so that the interest of women is adequately represented.”
“For sustained economic growth water needs to be managed optimally and efficiently as water has a clear linkage with economic development, environmental development and social development,” she further added.
The session was moderated by day chair – Usharani Manne, Chairperson, Hyderabad Chapter.