Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said India urgently needs to work on groundwater replenishment because the country has the highest dependency on groundwater resources.
He asked industries to take initiatives to conserve water not only in their sector but also in and around them. Noting that India relies on groundwater way more than China and the US, the minister said the government is taking steps to deal with the problem.
The union minister was speaking at an interactive session on 'Water Stewardship: Key to Sustainability in India', organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI).
Giving importance to the role water plays in economic development, Shekhawat called for businesses to pay attention to recycling and reusing water. "If we examine the economic growth graph of the country, it exhibits a similar pattern with its energy and water consumption," said the minister.
He added the agriculture industry should save water by adopting drip irrigation. "Even if we save 10% of water using drip irrigation, we won't have to worry for the next 50 years." A recent study published by Science.org has said large swaths of north-western and southern India will have critically low groundwater availability by 2025.
The Minister awarded 'Certificates of Appreciation' to several private companies and Rotary Clubs. He also released a report on 'Ease of Doing Business for the MSME sector in India: Percolating EODB Reforms at Factory Level'.
PHD Rural Development Foundation Foundation (RDF) Chairman and former PHDCCI President Sharad Jaipuria addressed the minister's suggestion on groundwater replenishment and said the RDF has helped set up 300 check dams in the last two years.