According to an official release, the CCEA approved the scheme to develop human resource and build capacities with a financial outlay of Rs 351 crore during the 12th Plan.

"The scheme proposes to generate awareness about water use efficiency, conservation and management of water by targeting various stakeholders, including general public, school children, agriculturists, industrialists and other water users," the release said.

It said that existing training institutions will be strengthened.

These include the National Water Academy (NWA), the Rajiv Gandhi National Ground Water Training & Research Institute (RGI), the North Eastern Regional Institute of Water and Land Management (NERIWALM), the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) and the Central Water Commission (CWC).

Officials said that annual potential of utilizable water in the country remains constant at 1,121 billion cubic meters (BCM). However, the demand for water is rising rapidly with an estimated requirement of 1,180 BCM by 2050.

They said that most of the options of harnessing available water have been utilized and the incremental cost of harnessing newer sources like desalination entails higher costs.

Demand can be reduced through water use efficiency in agriculture, industry and domestic water consumption, they added.

(Agencies)

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