RNS: Dr Rajendra Singh, Waterman of India, underscores the significance of community participation in water conservation; throws light on the effectiveness of a traditional community-driven decentralized water management system.
Dr Rajendra Singh, renowned environmentalist and water conservationist, also known as Waterman of India, highlighted the significance of a community-driven decentralized water management system in ensuring proper water utilisation.
He was delivering a keynote address at IIT’s Golden Jubilee Lecture Theatre (ISM) as part of a lecture series organized by the Department of Environmental Science & Engineering under Mission Life, in front of a large number of faculty members, students, and research scholars, and stressed the importance of community and society coming together to ensure water conservation.
Beginning his lecture in an interactive way he said that our traditional Indian Way of Living had a built system that the community used to ensure effective management of water, but as the modern era of development began started concentrating primarily on the extraction of resources without concentrating on rejuvenation or replenishment of the same leading to the generation of problems, like flood, drought etc.
He narrated the initial phase of his transformation from a government servant to an environmentalist after leaving his job as an Ayurveda doctor and later working incessantly for the conservation of rivers with the help of common people.
Elaborating on the advantages of a community-driven, decentralized water management system he cited the example of Jaisalmer where a lot to trade used to take place from the Middle East 700 years ago.
He further said that during that period there was a community-driven system where the common people were informed on a regular basis about the availability of water in their area and that was the reason for the lack of crisis of water in those days.
He lamented, however, that despite all of our development, we are still unaware of the supply of water in our various districts, which is a really sad condition of affairs.
He further stressed the need for the conservation of rivers and said that making large dams over the rivers is not going to water instead of that small but multiple dams are required in order to conserve water.
“This is time to nourish water and our technocrats should come forward with innovative ways of nourishing, rejuvenating and replenishing our earth in order to ensure their sustainability.
Professor Dheeraj Kumar, Deputy Director of Dhanbad who was also present during the function informed Dr Rajendra Singh that IIT (ISM) has taken a lot of steps towards water conservation and the institute at present has 700 KLD of Sewage Treatment capacity and treated water is used for watering the plants in the institute etc.
Dr Anshumali, HoD Environmental Science and Engineering while delivering the welcome address, appraised the gathering about the life and work of Dr Rajendra Singh.