Author: Jayanta Bandopadhyay
Article and image courtesy: The Telegraph
Available literature on the new perspectives defining the recommended interdisciplinary water policy need to accessed by the ministry of water resources before finalizing the document.One of the prime goals of this policy needs to be to recognize safe drinking water as a basic human right. This article details the strengths and weaknesses of the draft national water policy.
Improvements contained in the draft over the existing national water policy
- A recognition of the need to utilise a holistic and interdisciplinary framework
- Recognition of the need for the principle of equity and social justice to inform use and allocation of water
- Recommendation for a framework law on water
Improvements needed in the present draft
- No review of the inequities that curb peoples access to water
- continuation of the supply side engineering perspective where water is looked on as a stock to be parcelled out
- Lack of recognition of the imperative need for multilateralism for transboundary rivers, especially in the Himalayas
- No acknowledgement of the detrimental effect of structural interventions to prevent floods
- There is no distinction between global warming and climate change, which is not expected of a document brought out by the Ministry of water resources
- The section on 'Research and training needs' underlines the continuing hold of the traditional engineering approach and the draft's inability to emerge from that to a new paradigm of water science.