President Pratibha Devisingh Patil underscored the need for an extensive awareness campaign to sensitise people about water being a valuable commodity and to use it wisely.
In a valedictory address at the National Water Congress 2007 in the capital, the president said: "Our efforts to save every drop of water, by using it sensibly, would go a long way in improving water availability."
She emphasised the need to make children "water-literate" so that they understand that water is a valuable commodity and should be used carefully.
"Water pollution is yet another important issue that requires our immediate attention. We need to maintain cleanliness of rivers, ponds, water reservoirs, wells and other water bodies in our country.
"One of the key determinants of our ability to continue on the path of growth and prosperity will depend on whether we are able to optimally utilise our water resources. Our efforts should be to augment our water reserves, and adopt water conservation practices to ensure that there is no water wastage."
She also said that access to water supply should be an integral part of poverty eradication and women's welfare programmes.
The president presented the National Water Award to Hiware Bazar panchayat, Ahmednagar district, Maharashtra.
Minister for Water Resources Saifuddin Soz said water can be better managed when all sections of society - government, planners, users, non-governmental organisations, academia and also the private sector - join hands in this endeavour.