Citizens’ call for water security

The Indian Institute of Water Management under ICAR, Bhubaneswar celebrated its 37th Foundation Day on Sunday. On this occasion, Dr. Suresh Kumar Chowdhury, Deputy Director General (Natural Resource Management), graced the occasion as the Chief Guest and inaugurated the meeting. He said that providing water security to all is the biggest challenge in the coming days. He emphasized on the development of low-cost, eco-friendly water-saving agricultural methods by scientists in the context of groundwater depletion, plant health and climate change. UAT Vice-Chancellor Prof. Dr. Pancha Kumar Raul said in his Foundation Day speech that the continuous decrease in per capita water availability in our country is a cause of great concern. Da. Raul further said that our crop yield needs to be based on crop water requirement and regional water resource availability. Central Groundwater Development Corporation Chairman Dr. Sunil Kumar Ambast said that we have to develop various infrastructures for adequate groundwater recharge and take steps to increase water productivity in the canal sector as well. The other Chief Guest, Dr. Amaresh Kumar Naik, Director, National Rice Research Institute highlighted the steps being taken to increase water productivity without reducing yield as rice is the most water intensive crop. First of all, the director of the institute, Dr. Arjamadatta Sadangi, welcomed all the guests with a bouquet of flowers and apprised everyone about the water-saving agriculture methods developed by the institute, along with the sensor-based automatic irrigation system. He further said that there is a need to show and verify the farmers’ bills for the use of self-powered irrigation systems. Employees and outgoing employees who have done outstanding work for the upliftment of the institution were felicitated. The guests unveiled various plan papers and research bulletins published by the Institute. In the afternoon, Dr. Pradeep Kumar Bora, Director of Neriwalma, gave his speech on streamflow management for increasing agricultural water productivity. The director of various ICAR institutes working in Odisha, head of regional center, various officials of Odisha government participated in this program. The meeting ended with a vote of thanks. To make the Inauguration Day even more enjoyable, a cultural program “Water Wave” was organized in the evening by the staff.

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