NAM stressing the importance of efficient water resource management

Water is a finite and irreplaceable resource that is fundamental to human well-being. It is only renewable if well managed. Today, more than 1.7 billion people live in river basins where depletion through use exceeds natural recharge, a trend that will see two-thirds of the world’s population living in water-stressed countries by 2025. Water can pose a serious challenge to sustainable development but managed efficiently and equitably, water can play a key enabling role in strengthening the resilience of social, economic and environmental systems in the light of rapid and unpredictable changes.
Water resources are of critical importance for socio-economic development and for maintaining healthy ecosystems, which in turn play an essential role in terms of benefits and services for humans such as food and energy production, flood control, and recycling and purifying available water supplies. An integrated water resources management and compromise building is required to balance water uses to available resources and to land use and ecological services. Declining water quality and increasing water pollution exacerbates the need to address causes not just mitigate the effects. The situation is particularly acute in many developing countries and as such the Non Aligned Movement has recognized the importance of water and sanitation for social, economic and environmental development. NAM recognizes that water is a key to sustainable development and has stressed the significance of water as a vital and finite natural resource, which has an economic, social and environmental function. The movement has been staunch supporter of the right to water for all in consonance with the UN Commission on Sustainable Development in 2005 and the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in November 2002.
In successive NAM summits and ministerial meetings, leaders have called for integrated water resources management and its sustainable uses. In the Tehran Summit of 2012,NAM stressed upon the need to improve water resource management and scientific understanding of the water cycle through cooperation in joint observation and research, and for this purpose reiterated the need to encourage and promote knowledge-sharing and provide capacity-building and the transfer of technology, as mutually agreed, including remote-sensing and satellite technologies, particularly to developing countries and countries with economies in transition. The movement has urged the member states to devise their water resource management strategies in accordance with the objectives of the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, which has the objective of halving by 2015 of the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation. As such, the movement recognizes the right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as a human right that is essential for the full enjoyment of life and all human rights. One important component of the water resource management strategy is the reduction of water pollution and as such, NAM has urged the member states.
India, a prominent member of the Non Aligned Movement has stressed on the optimal sustainable development, maintenance of quality and efficient use of water resources through various mechanisms. India is endowed with a rich and vast diversity of natural resources, water being one of them. Its development and management plays a vital role in agriculture production. Integrated water management is vital for poverty reduction, environmental sustenance and sustainable economic development. National Water Policy envisages that the water resources of the country should be developed and managed in an integrated manner. The main features of the National Water Policy in India are resource planning and recycling for providing maximum availability, giving importance to the impact of projects on human settlements and environment, setting guidelines for the safety of storage dams and other water-related structures, regulating exploitation of groundwater, setting water allocation priorities in order of Drinking water, Irrigation, Hydropower, Navigation, Industrial and other uses. The policy also envisages that the water rates for surface water and ground water should be rationalized with due regard to the interests of small and marginal farmer. India has moved from a reactive to a proactive arrangement in water resource management, and this model should be emulated by the developing world. Governments in the developing nations, as well as donor nations and organizations, should strengthen efforts to provide adequate water services for their citizens. In this regards, NAM can play a important role in coordination of water resource management policies among the countries of the global south.

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