(GIST OF KURUKSHETRA) Educating People to Save Every Drop of Water
Educating People to Save Every Drop of Water
- In response to the global water crisis, the United Nations has established a target under its 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which is to ensure that everyone has access to clean water and sanitation (SDG 6). However, the United Nations World Water Development Report, 2019 indicates that almost two-thirds of the world’s population suffer from severe water scarcity for at least one month every year.
- Despite having abundant rainfall, India faces frequent droughts, floods and water scarcity due to inadequate water management practices and rapid urbanisation.
- Tackling the water crisis requires a concerted effort from various stakeholders, including government, civic bodies, administration, educational institutions, NGOs, media as well as society.
- There is a need for structured long-term campaigns to build awareness and educate people and also to incentivise and reward them to save every drop of water.
National Water Mission (NWM)
The National Water Mission is one of the eight missions under the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC).
- The main objective of NWM is the conservation of water, minimising wastage and ensuring its more equitable distribution both across and within states through integrated water resources management and development.
- One of the five goals of the National Water Mission is to promote citizen and state actions for water conservation, augmentation and preservation.
- One of the strategies of NWM under Goal IV is to incentivise organisations or companies through awards for water conservation and efficient use of water resources. The annual NWM Water Awards recognise excellence in water conservation, efficient water use and sustainable water management practices.
- Water Talk – The NWM organises lecture series called ‘Water Talk’ with an objective to facilitate the exchange of information pertaining to water-related topics. The Water Talk series takes place on the third Friday of every month and features presentations from experts and practitioners in the field.
‘Catch the Rain’ campaign
- The “Catch the Rain” campaign is being run by the NWM.
- This campaign was launched on 22nd March 2021 on the occasion of World Water Day.
- The campaign aims to encourage the states and stakeholders to create and maintain appropriate rainwater harvesting structures (RWHS), suitable to the soil strata and climatic conditions of the area, with people’s participation with the theme ‘Catch the rain, where it falls, when it falls’.
- The campaign involves the active participation of the local community in the implementation of measures to enhance the storage capacity of water bodies.
Strategies to Educate People –
Through education and awareness-building campaigns, individuals can be empowered to take responsibility for their water consumption and ensure that every drop of this precious resource is conserved. In the past, many mass awareness campaigns were launched on the need for the conservation of water like media campaigns, puppet shows, street theatres, jal yatras etc. Doordarshan, Akashwani and other government media platforms have been continuously utilised to create awareness amongst the masses. The other measures which could be utilised to make water conservation a mass movement include-
- Social Media – can be used to directly reach out to people in real-time and proactively engage with them.
- Conventional Media – using the mediums like TV, newspapers, and radio as these have vast footprints across the country.
- Educational Institutions.
- Engaging Communities – organising community programmes like seminars, workshops etc.
- Incentives and Rewards – to encourage people to conserve water, incentives like tax rebates, and discounts can be offered. This can be done at the local level with funding support from the Centre or State governments.
- Involving Private Sector – There are already some private organisations which are running campaigns for the conservation of water.
- Engaging with eminent personalities – Celebrity involvement can be sought to attract public attention and promote water conservation initiatives.
- An effective way to send the message across could be to amplify the good work done by people to save water and educate people in this regard.
- Apart from implementing policies and programmes to promote water conservation, we also need to address the crucial challenge of water scarcity to ensure the success of these efforts taking every citizen along in the fight against the water crisis. This will not only require structured long-term campaigns to build awareness and educate people but also to incentivise and reward them to save every drop of water.