New Delhi, May 9 (IANS) The union Cabinet Thursday gave its approval for declaring 2013 as Water Conservation Year.
An official press release said a number of mass awareness activities will be undertaken during the year, with emphasis on sensitising people on water-related issues and encouraging them to use it judiciously.
The policies and programmes of the Ministry of Water Resources will be propagated to create a sustainable society and economy."
"An effective and sustained mass awareness programme will be launched with the involvement of all stakeholders to achieve the objectives identified in the National Water Policy, 2012 and National Water Mission," the release said
It said that water was a scarce resource with the country having more than 18 percent of the world's population but four percent of world's renewable water resources and 2.4 percent of world's land area.
There are further limits on utilizable quantities of water owing to uneven distribution over time, as 75 percent of the annual rainfall is received in just four months, the release said.
It said the per capita availability of water is likely to go down from 1,545 cubic metre per year in 2011 to 1341 cubic metres per year in 2025.
"The increasing demand of water for various purposes will further strain (resources) with the possibility of deepening water conflicts among different user groups as drinking water needs will rise by 44 percent, irrigation needs by 10 percent and industry needs by 81 percent respectively b 2025," the release said.
The new water policy was approved last December.