Urgent need to finalize National Water Law to end summer shortage

gnlm opinion

The summer of 2020 will be arriving soon, and it promises to bring searing heat to most parts of the country.
The Department of Rural Development under the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation has been taking preparatory measures to supply drinking water to villages that are expected to face drought in the summer.
In a welcome step, the department has announced hotline numbers as part of efforts to quickly respond to a possible crisis.
Regional authorities and related governmental departments are advised to coordinate with each other to overcome the challenges in the agricultural sector and in the provision of safe drinking water, especially in rural areas.
The problem of water shortage, which strikes rural areas every year, has alerted us of the need to prepare not only short-term, but also mid-term and long-term solutions to resolve the crisis.
For a long-term solution, there is an urgent need to complete the drafting of the National Water Law and linking it with existing laws and rules and regulations.
While there are no easy solutions, we must turn this crisis into an opportunity by building artificial recharging structures, renovating the existing water harvesting systems, cleaning up water bodies, investing in water recycling, focusing on crops that are not water intensive, improving irrigation efficiency, and reducing water leakage, among other things.
However, the key factor will be making citizens understand that water is a finite resource, and it is critical to reduce consumption, maintain water supply facilities, and avoid actions which can cause water scarcity and pollution.
Every citizen, whether a child or an adult, must understand the value of water and we must make efforts to raise awareness on and conserve our water resources
All citizens must stop littering bodies of water and participate in reforestation activities.
Our water problems are different from those in the Southeast Asian region though we possess 16 per cent of all water resources in Southeast Asia and 12 per cent in Asia.
We do have a dry zone in the centre of the country. That has added diversity to the climate conditions in Myanmar and added to our water problems. To put it simply, we do not get enough water, when and where we need it, due to uneven distribution of rainfall, changing pattern of hydrological conditions, and climate change.
To put an end to the water crisis in our country, we all need to step up our efforts for drafting the National Water Law, which will supersede all the laws related with water.

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