With large parts of India under drought, including some areas where it has been the norm for years, the Narendra Modi government has no option but to take up the issue of water conservation on priority. The prime minister has talked about this in his latest episode of Mann Ki Baat and the Ministry of Jal Shakti is known to be thinking of making corporate entities accountable for water they consume through mandatory water audits.
While every attempt to usher in responsible use of water is welcome, the government should not ignore the most glaring misuse of water, in agriculture. Over-exploitation of ground water resources should end. Cultivation of water intensive crops like rice and sugarcane in water stressed areas should be discouraged. The just formed chief ministers' high powered committee on 'Transformation of Indian agriculture' headed by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis should give this a serious thought.