With respect to water usage and storage, it is generally said that India has focussed more on supply-side management, while no emphasis is placed on demand-side management. Discuss while suggesting way forward.

Published: January 26, 2017

Water is the very basic need of people. It is necessary that water is provided to by laying stress on creating large-scale rainwater storage facilities, efficient allocation of the valuable resource to states and involvement of the local people in conservation efforts.
It has been argued for adoption of a demand driven approach towards providing water rather than simply following the supply oriented path.
For instance, dam construction is a supply driven approach. However, it is observed that simply construction of dam has not yield desired results.
Rather, states should be urged (water being a state subject) to take steps to recharge depleting groundwater, especially in floodplain areas of rivers.
Other demand driven methods are rainwater harvesting and storing water.
Also, the first priority should be given to drinking water for human and cattle and then for agriculture and industries.
Also crops which require less water must be grown. For instance, vegetables and fruits can be preferred to be grown over sugarcane with the help of drip irrigation instead of flow irrigation. Flow irrigation causes water wastage.
Most importantly, emphasis needs to paid on community participation in water management.
Also, from both a strategic and technological perspective, new metering and usage awareness approaches in order to encourage conservation amongst people is the need of the hour to fulfil water demands for all.

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