Vijaypura declaration (18 august 2017)

Vijaypura declaration (18 august 2017)


To ensure water, food and livelihood security and climate resilience

through a drought and flood free India

Water security alone will ensure food & livelihood security and mankind’s resilience in the face of climate change.

 We the people, assembled together at Vijayapura,

Karnataka State, India, from 101 river basins and sub-basins of India, to share issues, challenges, experiences, best practices and expertise and to evolve a model of Jala Saksharta (Water-Literacy) and Jala-Sanskruti (WaterCulture) in order to further integrate, motivate and mobilize Sant, Samaj, Shasan and Mahajan (Spiritual-Mentors, People, Government & Resource-Mentors) as inclusive stake-holders in the Mission of building an India free of droughts and floods, with water, food and livelihood security ensured and hence resilient in the face of the incremental

climate changes that threaten the present and the future.

  • We have accepted the River Basin as the model for the width of study and teamwork: The essence of Jala-Saksharta (Water-Literacy) and Jala-Sanskruti (Water-Culture) is in understanding that the river existed before the state boundaries were drawn. The river is currently experienced as ‘an endless and exhaustless commodity to be fought over in a competitive mode’. The river is correctly experienced as ‘an essential natural resource, entrusted to the whole community, that must be served together to keep it healthy and sustainable’. The river needs to be protected, rejuvenated and restored not only for the human species but for the health and resilience of the entire eco-system. Formation of 21 river parliaments will be the beginning of working together – not only to rejuvenate the river – but also to rejuvenate human culture and civilization with the introduction of loyalty to the river basin first – above all boundaries – national, state, district, revenue, religious, cultural or linguistic.
  • We will liberate the river from encroachment. We will prevent the urban proliferation of cement jungles inside the river bed and on flood-plains and remove these encroachments to maintain the free and original flow of the river. The proliferation of sand-mining in all rivers urges us to act urgently to stop the actions of the sand-mafia.
  • The government must respect the ecological and hydrological integrity of the river by declaring the river-system as a reserved protected zone after identifying, demarcating and notifying the domain of the river. The red and blue lines which indicate the restricted and prohibited zones must strictly guide development along the banks of the river.
  • We will liberate the river from pollution. This river-back-habitat, where the population affecting the river-front resides, needs to be free of solid and liquid wastes through community driven decentralized waste management and recycling, supported and facilitated by the government so that the river-front does not become a garbagefront. Mere beautification of the river-front is only two percent of the total task of cleaning the river-back-habitat and the river-front, together.
  • We must find solutions to salinity – either of land or of estuarine & delta ecosystems.
  • Separate the Sewer from the River. The water treated by STPs must be reused, after being found suitable, for gardens and for agriculture.
  • We must set up the standard of river water health as 8 ppm of DO (Dissolved Oxygen) as commensurate with International Standards for DO in the waters of rejuvenated rivers like the Rhine, the Thames and the Hudson.
  • We will Liberate the river and catchment area from over-exploitation. We must adopt irrigation engineering techniques that optimize storage as well as improve water use efficiency in the river basin
  • Shift land-use patterns to a healthier situation where population gets re-distributed and decentralized through reverse-migration strategies.
  • Saving the Sahyadri forests will save the peninsular rivers. Saving the Himalayan forests will save the Gangetic plains rivers.
  • The River and Law. We must ensure that land-rights and water-rights are separated to ensure equity in groundwater distribution. Water conflict resolution must be resolved through the involvement of people, farmers, water-experts, state-representatives and stake holders from the entire river basin and this process of resolution through dialogue must precede the appeal to court and judiciary. Formation of river parliaments will facilitate this.
  • We will work to prevent droughts and floods in the river basin. Our biggest challenge will be to understand exactly how our inadequate understanding & resulting unpreparedness at the stages of research, understanding, anticipation, planning, behavior-transformation and stake-holder water-literacy enhances drought and flood magnifying conditions which precipitate as full-fledged and chronic droughts and floods.
  • River Basin Synergy leading to formation of River Parliament: Our inheritance of revenue boundaries has fractured our planning of river-health into planning for unconnected pieces of land surrounded by revenue-borders, administrative-borders, and linguistic-borders – It is the time to step out and bring about cooperation and synergy between all portions of the river basin – by finding uniting threads and undercurrents.
  • Transformation of River Basin Villages as the key: Identification of villages in the river basin as river-basin-villages in order to create a transcending river-basin identity to bring about parity between our self-image of being ‘administratively served and monitored water-using populations’ and ‘river-basin stake-holder water-protecting & water-recharging populations
  • Agrani River-Basin Model to be emulated, which integrates river-basin-dwellers into an integrated team in Maharashtra-Karnataka – of making each village in a river basin to take all other villages in that river basin into consideration – for study, understanding, planning, and implementation of inclusive river rejuvenation and inclusive river basin enrichment reforms.
  • Establishing Jala Saksharta Kendras in every State: Maharashtra State has initiated the formation of a Jala Saksharta Kendra in YASHADA (Yashwantrao Chavan Academy of Development Administration), Pune. This center has devised detailed strategies for a village, taluka, district, division and state level training of 50,000 jala-speaks, jala-doots, jala-premis, jala-yoddhas, jala-karmis and jalanayaks in order to bring about Water-Literacy in all the population of Maharashtra towards prevention of chronic droughts and floods.

“21 rivers have been listed for creation of River Parliament 

 with specific individuals and river-basin teams  

having taken up the task of creating the same to further the aims and objectives inherent in this declaration.”

 Now, having accepted the above as guidelines for placing the river-basin as the basic unit for civilizational planning and reform, we, the people of 101 river basins assembled here in Vijayapura do pledge, individually and collectively, that we are citizens of our river-basin first and that our land-based identities are secondary to our water-based identities and loyalties – and we shall abide by this wider integrative interpretation and living-expression of our relationship with each other and with nature – in spirit, in word and in action, in values, in strategies, in legislations and in administrative partnerships and cultural and civilizational-synergies across existing borders of all types which divide humans from humans and which divide human beings from nature.

Best practices from the host Karnataka State which can be nationally shared and replicated :

Soil and water conservation in rainfed crop areas which do not have the benefit of dam and canal irrigation is taken as a priority on equal footing with irrigated crop areas
Micro Irrigation Project as implemented in Ramthal, Bagalkot District, must be replicated
Filling tanks & lakes with river water, as successfully implemented at Begum Talab
Krishi Bhagya projects in Karnataka as low-cost innovations where rain water run-off fills farm-ponds for supplementary irrigation for agricultural sustainability
Revival of traditional heritage water-harvesting and distribution systems which were established in the past by benevolent rulers like Adil Shahi Dynasty



Water security bill

Water security bill

The water crisis is increasing in the subcontinent of India, in the 21st century this crisis is becoming increasingly deep. At present, 413 districts out of total 707 districts of the country are facing increasing water crisis, this availability and requirement are continuously decreasing. The level of ground water is constantly going down, in many areas, the level of ground water has gone down so much that the area has come under the over exploited category. Handpumps and tube wells have stopped giving water, the flow of water in the rivers is continuously decreasing. The water of the dams constructed for irrigation is being preserved for drinking and not for irrigation. In the coming years, only the availability of water will be ensured for the supply of drinking water from the dark banks of India. The water crisis is becoming even more acute due to increasing consumption and increasing urbanization in India. As a result of increasing urbanization, underground water is also being exploited in many cities of the world and also promoting deforestation that is also enhancing water crisis as Forest plays an important role in the conservation and purification of the water resources, it prevents the polluting elements from reaching rivers, prevents floods.
The level of consumption of water in any country is an important indicator of the level of economic development there. People from developing countries spend less per person water with respect to developed countries. In addition, most of the use of water resources in developing countries is spent in agriculture, and in almost all the developed countries, there is almost uniform use in agriculture and industries. The main reason for water pollution in urban areas is the polluted water of drains and chemicals emissions of industries which flow into the rivers, which made almost all the rivers in India polluted. If the monsoon comes late, the condition of the shortage of rainfall is created, then the situation of dispute for the use of river water generated. According to statistical analysis, in the year 2030, there is a possibility of an increase in water scarcity. More than 50 percent of the drinking water requirement in India could not be fulfilled, which will lead to a greater difference in demand and supply, due to which the poor and weak sections of the country will be in deep crisis. There will be more serious crisis related to water distribution, as well as the situation of conflict that will generate law and order issue. The situation in those areas where there is water crisis is causing a bad situation of law and order.
It is necessary that the Water Security Act be prepared on the lines of the Food Security Act in India. For the creation of this law, the water man of India Rajendra Singh launched a campaign to work on water and environment throughout the country. For three consecutive years, he has drafted the Water Security Act – 2017 for the purpose of preparing this format more than 1000 people have been consulted with this topic. Seminars and workshops for the construction of water security law have been organized at 46 places across the country. This format bill has been made public for consultation many times. The Water Security Act 2017 is being published in simple language for an understanding of the people. The water security act is necessary for the wellbeing of the people and to ensure the uninterrupted development of the Nation.
The draft of the Water Security Act 2017 is being published in the public interest by the Jal Biradari & Jal Jan Jodo Abhiyan


The Water Security Act 2017
, M.P.
An Act to providefor settingout the practical regime of the conservation of rivers and ensuring water security for all life forms to secure water security and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
WHEREAS the Constitution of India has established democratic Republic;
AND WHEREAS democracy requires a citizenry to be able to perform their Constitutional duty to protect the environment which is vital to life;
AND WHEREAS the constitution requires the Local Bodies to protect the environment and rivers;
AND WHEREAS conservation of rivers is likely to conflict with other public interests including development projects of the Governments, optimum use of limited fiscal resources and the preservation of confidentiality of sensitive information;
AND WHEREAS it is necessary to harmonise these conflicting interests while preserving the paramountcy of the constitutional rights and democratic ideal;
NOW, THEREFORE, it is expedient to provide for empowering citizens and local bodies who desire to conserve their waterbodies and ensure water security.
BE it enacted by Parliament in the Sixty-sixth Year of the Republic of India as follows:

1. This is an Act to provide a River Conservation;
(1) This Act may be called the River Conservation Act, 2015.
(2) It extends to the whole of India except the states of Jammu and Kashmir.
(3) Save as otherwise provided, it shall be deemed to have come into force on ,2015.
2. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,
(1) “aggression” shall mean any act that destroys or threatens to destroy the hydrological, biological or ecological integrity of any water body through any means including but not restricted to encroachments, pollution or exploitation;
(2) “aquifer” means a geological structure or formation, or an artificial landfill, that is permeated with water or is capable of being permeated with water;
(3) “aquifer interference activity” means an activity involving the penetration of an aquifer, or the interference with water in an aquifer, or the obstruction of the flow of water in an aquifer, or the taking of water from an aquifer in the course of carrying out construction, mining, or reclaiming, or the disposal of water taken from an aquifer in the course of reclaiming, mining or construction, or the contamination of water in the aquifer with pollutants;
(4) “area sabha” or panchayat shall be a formal or informal body of local residents;
(5) “biological integrity” exists if the ability to support and maintain a balanced, adaptive community of organisms having a species composition, diversity and functional organization comparable to that of natural habitats of the region is maintained;
(6) “conservation of water bodies” means all acts that ensure the ecological, biological and hydrological integrity is preserved;
(7) “destruction of water bodies” means all acts that ensure the ecological, biological and hydrological integrity is disturbed or destroyed;
(8) “drainage basin” or “catchment area”is an extent or area of land where surface water from rain or melting snow or ice converges to a single point, usually the exit of the basin, where the waters join another water body, such as a river, lake, reservoir, estuary, wetland, sea, or ocean. The drainage basin includes both the streams and rivers that convey the water as well as the land surfaces including the mountains and hills from which water drains into those channels;
(9) “ecological integrity”is maintained if, when subjected to disturbance, the water body sustains an organizing, self-correcting capability to recover toward an end-state that is ‘normal’ or ‘good’ for that system;
(10) “encroachment” shall mean undertaking, within the river conservation zone, any activities that are prohibited by this Act;
(11) “exploitation” shall mean water use made by a person exceeding the WHO norms per person;
(12) “habitat” means any census village or census town;
(13) “hydrologic integrity” exists if balanced hydrologic, hydraulic conditions on a temporal and spatial scale that are comparable to the natural characteristics of the region are maintained;
(14) “monsoon” means seasonal changes in atmospheric circulation and precipitation associated with the asymmetric heating of land and sea.It includes both the south-west monsoon arriving in June as well as the north-east monsoon arriving in September.
Short title and commencement