Issue Date: Feb 29, 2012
THE Union Ministry of Water Resources recently uploaded the draft of National Water Policy, 2012, on its website, inviting comments from the public. The draft underlines the need to treat water as “economic good”, but deliberately misses a crucial point: prioritising competing users of water, thus providing flexibility for allocating water for industrial use even at the cost of agriculture. The approach, says the ministry, is to steer clear of water allocation priorities because they lead to conflict. The Centre had adopted a water policy a decade ago which states that drinking be accorded the highest priority followed by irrigation, hydro-power, ecology, industrial requirement, and navigation and other uses.
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