Water is essential for drinking, personal hygiene, sanitation and irrigation.  From a global comparative perspective, India is a relatively water-scarce country and global environmental changes threaten to make this worse.  Yet our limited water resources are either not fully utilized (flow to the sea) or are misused (depleting ground water).  Public water supply systems also need to make better use of rain water.

There is an urgent need to improve the comprehensiveness and quality of water planning and management at every level (Centre, State, district, town, panchayat, and smallest farmer).  Water harvesting, water shed development, recharge of water bodies and aquifers, must be planned and implemented in every nook and corner of the country. Education and demonstration of models with the active participation of NGOs can play an important role.  Dams and canals have a place in cutting down the flow of water into the sea, recharging aquifers, including flood plains, and supplying dry areas and parched towns. Protection and proper management of the flood plains of rivers are essential for suplying sustainable levels of water to cities.  Tube wells in depleting aquifers must be discouraged through proper pricing of electricity and perhaps even water.