The Secretary, Department of Water Resources, River Development < Ganga Rejuvenation (WR, RD < GR), Government of India, Shri U.P. Singh, has called for decentralization in rain water harvesting campaign. Addressing the inaugural session of the workshop on “Catch the Rain: Rain Water Harvesting and Artificial Recharge Structures for Water Conservation” organized by the National Water Mission (NWM) here today as part of the “Har Kaam Desh ke Naam” initiative, he said there is a need to create awareness and involve the general public to give momentum to the campaign. The idea is to let the rain water percolate into the ground wherever it drops, be it the rooftop, airport or industry premises. “Solution to pollution is dilution”, he said adding, the mantra is “Catch the Rain where it falls”.

Shri UP Singh said the priority government attaches to water conservation is evident from the fact that the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, in his first Mann ki Baat radio programme broadcast upon assuming office for the second term, was devoted to this theme. Underlining the importance of groundwater recharge, Shri UP Singh said while the five big dams in the country hold anywhere around 250 Billion Cubic Meter (BCM) of water, the quantity of water stored in underground aquifers is about 400 bcm. Pointing out that the country still receives an average of more than 1,000 mm rainfall though its distribution is skewed, he said it is a matter of concern that only 8% of rainfall is harnessed while the rest is wasted as runoff.

Stressing on the need for Demand side Management of Water Resources, Shri UP Singh said even if we are able to save 10% water consumption in agriculture, it will make a big difference since agriculture comprises 85-89% of water usage in the country while about 5% usage is for drinking and domestic purposes. Calling for mass movement to rejuvenate water bodies, Shri UP Singh mentioned more than 500 traditional water bodies including wells have been revived in Udham Singh Nagar, Uttar Pradesh by utilizing MGNREGA resources and CSR funds.