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Vice President felicitates shri Ramaswamy iyer

New Delhi, November 25: The Vice President of India M. Hamid Ansari has said that while we focus on the domestic challenges to water security, transboundary waters also pose enormous challenges for achieving water security and peace and stability. Water systems shared across internal or external political boundaries pose major challenges, which are compounded by the need to ensure coordination and dialogue between sovereign states or internal political units within a state. It is especially relevant for India, in relation to almost all our neighbours and some of our states.

Addressing after felicitating ‘Ramaswamy Iyer, former Secretary,Water Resources’ at a function organized by the Centre for Policy Research here today, he has said that according to the UN, around the world, there are some 276 major transboundary watersheds, crossing the territories of 145 countries and covering nearly half of the earth’s land surface. More than 300 transboundary aquifers have also been identified, most of which are located across two or more countries. These have a potential for a dispute arising in the future as growing populations increase the demand for water.

He said that Professor Ramaswamy Iyer is one of those rare experts, whose scholarship and thoughts on water-related issues and themes are backed by an invaluable experience of being a practitioner in the field. As a scholar and writer, Professor Iyer has been objective, scientific and fearless in expressing his informed and deliberated views on the subject, which is such an emotive one that it invariably clouds objectivity and reason to the benefit of rhetoric, jingoism and even violence. A UN-Water Analytical Brief 2013 defined Water Security as the capacity of a population to safeguard sustainable access to adequate quantities of acceptable quality water for sustaining livelihoods, human well-being, and socio-economic development, for ensuring protection against water-borne pollution and water-related disasters, and for preserving ecosystems in a climate of peace and political stability.

The Vice President said that we are also aware of the pressures and tensions that have been inflicted on our finite water resources due to indiscriminate consumption, criminal waste and man-made pollution, within the country and globally. These have serious implications for human society and its future. The question is that how do we work, individually as a nation, and collectively as the international community, towards the attainment of this comprehensive definition of water security?

He opined that it is in this context that the work of  Iyer is authoritative and useful. In his books, papers and articles, he has offered objective analysis of the concerned issues and also provided possible solutions for the way forward. His belief that we have to move from treating the water issue as one of demand and supply problem to a proper management of water resources by all concerned is not only logical but also doable through human endeavour. The possibility of expanding the limited planetary water supply is beyond human capacity for now. 

Posted by Imphal Dispatch on 21:50. Filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0

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