Take up rainwater harvesting as a movement: Governor

Hyderabad: Governor Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan on Friday called upon the people to take up rainwater harvesting activities as a movement.

“Though our country is receiving copious rains, we are lagging behind in conserving the rainwater thus staring at a major water crisis,” she said.

The Governor was addressing the Vice-Chancellors of different universities of Telangana and Puducherry and the Indian Red Cross Society functionaries through a video conference on the theme of “Catch the Rain, where it falls, when it falls,” from Raj Bhavan, here.

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Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan stated that though India accounts for 18 percent of the world’s population, and 20 percent of the livestock of the world, it has only four percent of the water resources of the world.

“Most of the rainwater is going unused. It is high time that we create rainwater harvesting structures to conserve and use it. We must reduce the indiscriminate and over-exploitation of precious groundwater. We must accelerate the groundwater recharge. We need to achieve the water use efficiency by 20 percent. Water is critical for development,” she added.

The Governor expressed concern that 256 out of 700 districts have been identified as ‘critical’ or ‘overexploited groundwater levels’ in our country.

India has been categorised as the ‘water-stressed’ country in terms of per capita water availability, at the same time per capita water requirement is rapidly increasing.

“It is paradoxical that we witness floods due to plenty of rains, on the other hand, we experience water scarcity. This is just a result of our failure to harvest the rainwater in an effective manner and on a massive scale,” she said.

The Governor urged all the stakeholders to proactively promote the “Catch the Rain,” campaign having a tagline of “where it falls, when it falls,” launched as part of the National Water Mission.

“Our efforts for country’s growth and prosperity, livelihoods of the people, sustainable development for future generations all depend upon our success in effective rainwater harvesting and avoiding the over-exploitation of the groundwater,” she said.

Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan, who is also the Chancellor of State Universities, directed the Vice-Chancellors to transform the university campuses as ‘Green and Water-Rich Campuses.

She suggested them to create rainwater harvesting facilities like check dams, water harvesting pits, water ponds, re-cycling of wastewater, rooftop water harvesting structures, etc.,

The Governor called upon the Indian Red Cross Society functionaries to involve the volunteers to give this Catch the Rain initiative momentum at the grassroots level.

She emphasised on the prevention of blockages in feeder channels, de- siltation of water bodies, protecting the water bodies from encroachments as to conserve rainwater.

Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan also called for studies on the ancient and traditional methods of rainwater harvesting structures used in our villages earlier.

She called for the convergence of modern technology and ancient wisdom to effectively harvest rainwater.

National Water Mission Director G. Ashok Kumar highlighted the activities taken up under the Catch the Rain initiative and urged the VCs to transform their universities in Telangana and Puducherry as model campuses in rainwater harvesting.

Secretary to Governor K. Surendra Mohan explained about the initiatives implemented in Raj Bhavan to harvest the rainwater and generate solar power, and other eco-friendly initiatives.

Vice-Chancellors of different universities from Telangana and Puducherry, IRCS functionaries shared their initiatives towards rainwater harvesting.

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