National Ground Water Congress held in New Delhi on Sep 11,2007

Prof. Saifuddin Soz, the Union Minister for Water Resources has announced that "National Ground Water Congress"will be held in New Delhi on September 11, 2007 to discuss the strategies for sustainable and equitable use of ground water and to promote water literacy. Addressing a Press Conference here today Prof. Soz said that the Congress will evaluate role of ground water in national food security and water security, promote more crop and income per drop of water and evolve pro-nature, pro-poor and pro-woman sustainable ground water security system.

The Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh will inaugurate the Congress and the President Smt Pratibha Devisingh Patil will address the valedictory session of the Congress. The technical papers will be presented during the technical sessions.

The first meeting of Ground Water Advisory Council on Afritifical Recharge held in July 2006 recommended holding up National Ground Water Congress. The main objective of Advisory Council is to popularise concept of artificial recharge among stakeholders.

Prof Soz also announced that the Government instituted, first time, the National Water Award and Bhumijal Samvardhan Award to encourage NGOs Gram Panchayats/Urban Local Bodies for adopting innovative practices of ground water augmentation through people's participation. One National Award of Rs 10 Lakh and 18 Bhumijal Samvardhan Puraskars of Rs 1 Lakh each with a plaque and a citation will be presented. These awardees have been selected by a four member committee set up under the chairmanship of Prof. M.S. Swaminathan, MP and nominations were invited through state governments. 55 nominations were received and the committee recommended 1 National Award and 14 Puraskars.

The Minister also announced the launching of Farmer's Participatory Research Programme in 5000 villages in different agro-climatic reasons of the country with the help of 50 Agriculture Universities and Research Institutes to produce more crop and income per drop of water.