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Published on: 26/03/2012

In Dr V. Kurian Baby's, IRC senior programe officer in South Asia, keynote address on the occasion of the World Water Day 2012, he stressed the need to enlarge the concept of food security to integrate drinking water security.

Dr V. Kurian Baby argued that people with better access to water tend to have lower levels of malnutrition. Despite the global claims of achieving MDG targets in drinking water, actual prospects are bleak, especially for the rural poor. The plight of the rural poor is further aggravated by the multiple effects of climate change. According to Dr V. Kurian Baby, he said 'We must take the U turn now and shift from storage and distribution to source sustainability at local level to reduce our water footprint and produce more water'. The scientific community, he claimed, has to break away from the barriers of mainstream knowledge and focus on saline water based agriculture production to reduce impact of competing use, and to achieve food security.

In a latter discussion with representatives of the Water Institute and the Vice Chancellor, the following agreements were arrived at:

  • For the institutes to co-author one best practice case study in India for the forthcoming Training programme for IAS officials organised by Lal Bahadur Sastri National Academy of Administration (LBSANAA – the national training centre for Indian Civil Servants).
  • To jointly support a pilot programme in Kerala on sustainable services at scale and decentralised governance in terms of financial and human resources (student and faculty involvement).

The activity was jointly organised by the Karunya University, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, the Water Institute and the Department of Civil Engineering in India.

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