To make sure that water is properly and productively managed, the public as well as the government need to actively participate in conservation activities.

Water management by the public:

As citizens, we need to be more aware of water conservation and management. Unless the public participates in water management activities, water conservation cannot benefit. People’s participation has been highly effective in watershed management, for example in Bharuch district of Gujarat, cooperative movement to manage watershed system by tribals, has shown good success. In India, watershed management efforts are mostly controlled by local people participation. Some of the ways in which public can manage water are as follows:

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i. Control deforestation:

If we control deforestation by minimizing cutting down of trees, we will be able to minimize wasting away of precious water. Forests are essential for the maintenance of hydrological cycle.

ii. Avoid contamination of water:

We need to minimize contamination of our natural water resources. This includes prevention of dumping of industrial as well as domestic wastes into rivers and oceans. Avoid throwing litter into a river when on a holiday!

iii. Use water scarcely:

At the local level, we should ensure that we do not waste water at home or at public places.

Water management by the government:

i. Management of water supply:

Water supply and water management across regions should be decentralized. People are more aware of the local topography of their region. With this knowledge, they will be able to provide more inputs towards management of water.

ii. Encourage local participation:

Unless local participation is encouraged, the government cannot hope for things to change. Local participation in water conservation activities will help people become more responsible to maintain water and to use water resources responsibly.

iii. Treat water as economic input:

Water is required for all economic activities, be it agriculture, industries or construction. If government treats water as an economic commodity, people will become more concerned about managing water well.

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