Water scarcity has been a bane to the development of many countries of the world. At present, the water requirement for India is estimated to be around 1100 billion cubic meters per year. It is projected to go up to 1447 billion cubic meters by the year 2050.
India is the fastest-growing economy in the world. Water is crucial to the country to retain its pace of development. The country houses 18 per cent of the total population of the world, but possess only 4 per cent of the total renewable water resources of the world. This makes it essential for the country to use conserve the water and use it efficiently.
National Water Awards
In order to encourage the efforts towards water conservation and recognise the exemplary work being done in the area, the National Water Awards were instituted by the Ministry of Jal Shakti in 2018. The awards recognise work and efforts made by states, districts, individuals, organisations, etc. across the country that are working towards attaining the government’s vision of ‘Jal Samridh Bharat.’
The National Water Award was instituted with an aim to encourage the stakeholders to adopt a holistic approach towards water resources management in the country. Through this award, the government strives to create awareness among the people about the importance of water and attempts to motivate them to adopt best water usage practices, added the minister. Additionally, the awards have provided a good opportunity to startups as well as leading organizations to engage and deliberate with senior policymakers on how to adopt the best water resources management practices in India.
To encourage and recognize individuals and organizations working in the field of water resources management, the Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Ministry of Jal Shakti is giving 57 awards to States, Organizations, Individuals etc in 11 different categories. These categories include Best State, Best District, Best Village Panchayat, Best Urban Local Body, Best Media (Print & Electronic), Best School, Best Institution/RWA/Religious organization for Campus usage, Best Industry, Best NGO, Best Water User Association, and Best Industry for CSR Activity.
Top CSR performers at National Water Awards
In the recently conducted 3rd National Water Awards, ITC Limited was awarded the top position in the ‘Best Industry for CSR activities’ category by the Union Minister of Jal Shakti, Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. The second position was bagged by the Adani Foundation, while HAL and Dharampal Satyapal Ltd share the third position.
The awards show the prominent role of large Indian corporations playing to alleviate the water crisis to address their own risk as well as the risk of all partners. As per the company’s latest annual report, ITC has spearheaded an extensive watershed development program bringing soil and moisture conservation to over 1.2 million acres in 14 states. It has built nearly 22,000 water harvesting structures with a net water storage potential of 41.95 million CuM. These initiatives have benefited 3,60,000 people and support 7.3 million person-days of livelihood. Its demand-side management interventions cover 300,000 acres in 6 states.