February 1, 2019
Decades of improper management have ensured all countries, water scarce and abundant, are facing stress in terms of quantity and quality. During past 50 years, only Prime Minister who consistently considered water to be a national strategic issue was Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore. Due to his interest, Singapore’s water management, similar to India in 1965, became one of the best in the world in 20 years. One of my mentors, Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister of India, told me in 1973 she had no interest in water since it is a means to an end. The ends were economic development, poverty alleviation and employment generation. To make water an important political topic for prime ministers, discussions have to be framed on how water can act as a catalyst for economic development, poverty alleviation and employment generation. Messaging of water professionals is wrong to interest high-level policymakers. See my Editorial in International Journal of Water Resources Development.