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Participatory approach to water management should be the first condition of water reform - Secretary, Water Resources 

Nov 28, 2017

NEW DELHI, 28 November 2017: FICCI today organised the 3nd edition of India Industry Water Conclave and the 5th edition of FICCI Water Awards, in New Delhi. The Conclave is a platform for policy debate and showcasing initiatives by industry in sustainable water management. The FICCI Water Awards has been instituted to recognize exemplary work in the area of water management, conservation and use by industry and non-government organizations. India Industry Water Conclave & FICCI Water Awards is FICCI?s endeavour to bring all stakeholders to a single platform and take steps for Integrated Water Management.

 

The Conclave was addressed by the two Secretaries to Government of India who play the most important role in water, Shri Parameswaran Iyer, Secretary (DWS), Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation, Government of India, and Dr Amarjeet Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.

 

Shri Parameswaran Iyer, Secretary (DWS), Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation, Government of India in his keynote address outlined key tenets for Water Use Efficiency in India. He stated the following:

 

  • Important to revive two key principles for water management - a) water as an economic and social good;  b) best managed at lowest appropriate level
  • Need to push water centre stage
  • Important to have best practices and success stories replicated across the country
  • Need for greater institutional coordination
  • Financing and pricing should be dealt with greater attention since there is willingness to pay among people for better water services
  • Focussed approach towards behavioural change

 

On the role of industry, Shri Parameswaran Iyer mentioned:

 

  • Incentivise farmers for better agricultural practices and in reusing the wastewater through behaviour change awareness
  • More efficiency is required for urban wastewater supply
  • Non-revenue water in water utilities need focus
  • For rural water supply there is need to move towards performance based financing
  • Use of technology on demand side

 

Dr Amarjeet Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenationdelivered a Keynote Address and spoke about the following issues:

 

  • A participatory approach to water management should be the first condition of reform
  • Water - Irrigation - Water Sector Reforms should be kept on high-priority
  • Use scientific knowledge for aquifer mapping across the country and share the information on depleting water levels with farmers and the local communities
  • Find ways of ensuring groundwater flow into aquifers through rainwater harvesting and protecting the natural recharge systems.
  • Focus on water governance, budgeting and auditing
  • Understanding the nexus between energy and water
  • Reuse of urban wastewater
  • FICCI and Government should work together in addressing challenges related to urban wastewater

 

Dr Mihir Shah, Chair of the Jury for FICCI Water Awards 2017, Former Member of the Planning Commission, and President, Bharat Rural Livelihood Foundation delivered the Theme Address and spoke of the following:

 

  • Water is as important as infrastructure in the country's reform agenda
  • There is need to talk about water as an element of reform
  • Water not just provides social resilience but economic resilience too
  • There is urgent need to address issues related to demand side of the water to reduce various water related conflicts like, agriculture industry conflict; groundwater conflict between different stakeholders
  • Need to have an enabling policy mechanism for upscaling innovation in water sector to help take country's water reforms forward
  • Scaling cannot happen without government intervention
  • FICCI Water Mission is doing a commendable job by working with the Corporates, NGOs', researchers and other stakeholders by giving the entire water-use efficiency subject scale
  • With Public-Private-Partnership models there is also need to have another 'P' which stands for People's Participation. Since behavioural change can only be brought about by being inclusive in nature and having various stakeholders on board for addressing issues related to water pricing
  • Without pricing water, water use efficiency would be difficult.

 

Ms Naina Lal Kidwai, Chairman of FICCI Water Mission, Past President, FICCI and Chairman, Max Financial Services, in her address emphasized on the need for a holistic approach and driving change in a different way. She suggested that there is a need to have at least a minimum provision of water to industry to be able to even recycle and reuse it; usage of irrigation water more efficiently; and freeing up good quality water for drinking purposes. She also spoke about improving urban water use efficiency as a key solution to India's short-term and long-term water challenges; and to shift the focus to a scenario where there is shared vision and responsibilities for water augmentation, greater accountability, an incentive framework for going beyond compliance, and a coordinated approach to water supply and management. Water has to be seen as a resilience issue. She also spoke of the inequalities in the distribution of water.

 

Ms Kidwai also highlighted a five-point action agenda recommended by FICCI Water Mission towards a holistic and integrated approach:

1)      Constructive dialogue between stakeholders and to a framework of collaborative thinking, planning, and execution;

2)      An enabling policy environment that recognises and rewards good practices and innovative applications, and enables scaling up and replication;

3)      Policy framework should incentivise innovative technologies and sustainable business models in wastewater management;

4)      Need to harness the potential of the private sector which can provide its expertise in project management, innovation and replication of success stories;

5)      Enabling environment and supporting ecosystem for a market for wastewater is the need of the hour to dovetail the agriculture-industry-urban nexus for water and wastewater management through a circular economy approach.

 

FICCI released the Compendium of Best Practices in Water Conservation and Management that documents the best practices of the industries and NGOs that were awarded in the FICCI Water Awards 2017 today.

 

The Six Awardees of the FICCI Water Awards included 4 corporates and 2 NGOs:

 

Sterlite Copper Vedanta Ltd, won the 1st prize in the 'Industrial Water Efficiency' category for their water conservation projects implemented from 2013 - 2017; usage of desalination water for cooling towers; and reuse of treated wastewater, as part of their Green Supply Chain Management.

 

In the category of 'Innovation in Water Technology', 1st position was awarded to Hindustan Ecosoft Pvt Limited,for creating technology, Poseidon, which is extremely compact, packaged, robust, energy efficient, plug - and - play natural biological wastewater treatment and recovery system. The system includes in-built disinfection and activated carbon, making the treated effluent fit for reuse.

 

The 2nd position was bagged by the Technorbital Advanced Materials Pvt Limited in the 'Innovation in Water Technology' category, for their case study on invented specialty polymer Ultrafiltration hollow fiber membranes for removing smallest impurities from the water like viruses along with bacteria and cysts. The technology is perfectly suitable for rural areas because it is effortless to operate, runs without electricity, no technical person needed to operate the unit.

 

SM Sehgal Foundation, won the 3rd prize in the 'Innovation in Water Technology' category, for their innovation in rainwater harvesting technology which enables the creation of freshwater pockets in saline aquifers. In saline groundwater areas, the model provides a source of freshwater without constructing any storage tanks.

 

In the Category 'Water Initiatives by NGO's', 1st prize was received by Aga Khan Rural Support Programme, for creating ownership of the village community on the revival of sustained management of Meghal River. They worked on micro-planning of the area, program planning and implementation, and awareness building.

 

Akhil Bhartiya Samaj Sewa Sansthan (ABSSS), won the 2nd prize in 'Water Initiatives by NGO's' category, for their work on developing micro watersheds with people's participation and sustainable approach, preventing soil erosion and increasing water availability, in Mangawan, Itwan and Patin villages in Manikpur block of Chitrakoot district, UP Bundelkhand.

 

 

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Event:  India Industry Water Conclave & Awards

 

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