Multipronged approach required for harnessing water on sustainable basis: Pankaj Kumar, Ministry of Jal Shakti
Media Brief , Feb 16, 2021
Pankaj Kumar, Secretary, Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation and Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Govt of India said that the water use efficiency is low in India in every sector, including irrigation, industry and domestic. While steps are being taken for supply side management, an urgent need to address the issue of demand side management has also been felt for source sustainability.
Addressing the virtual 6th edition of India Industry Water Conclave and 8th edition of FICCI Water Awards, Kumar said that awareness of water issues and mobilization of community in addressing them is the need of the hour. “Every problem is an opportunity. The management of water resources has seen a paradigm shift in India in the recent years even as water governance has been placed at the forefront of the country’s development agenda.”
For integrated development of water resources, Kumar said that convergence has been brought about between relevant government ministries for implementing the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yoyna (PMKSY).
Highlighting the role of the Indian industry, Kumar emphasized that water as a resource is crucial to India, which is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. “In the multipronged approach that is required for harnessing water on sustainable basis, the role of Indian industry cannot be over emphasized,” he added.
Kumar said that the 6th India Industry Water Conclave and Awards will contribute significantly to cause of sustainable use of water with the relevant theme of ‘Sustainable Water Management – Achieving the 3Rs: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle’.
Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, Director General, National Mission for Clean Ganga, Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Ministry of Jal Shakti said, “We are putting emphasis on long term perspective of O&M in PPP models and working on national policy for reuse of wastewater.”
He further stated that the government is also in the process of developing a national policy framework on the reuse of treated wastewater. “While the consumption of water in the industry must be reduced, we also need to reuse and recycle a lot of it. It is critical for us to look at water in a holistic manner,” Mishra added.
Naina Lal Kidwai, Chairman, FICCI Water Mission and Past President, FICCI said that water scarcity and water pollution presents a significant risk to companies, with the potential to disrupt their operations and supply chains in many ways. Companies are applying circular economy principles to water management which is an important step in mitigating and preventing water crisis. “Instead of endlessly using and disposing of water, a recovery-based closed loop system is key for us,”
“FICCI strongly believes that all water-use sectors must embrace the circular approach to water and that the government must sensitize all stakeholders to move towards reuse as part of their water use efficiency strategies.
“Greater private sector participation in water services and infrastructure sector should be encouraged and facilitated through appropriate bidding criteria, project bankability, incentives for entrepreneurship and Start-ups. Encouraging risk-mitigation approach to help industry and other water users to address water not just from a compliance lens but business continuity lens, creating greater demand for water services.
“This will also promote the aspirations of Atmanirbhar Bharat in this sector, by enabling not just the domestic market for homegrown but world-class water services entities and technology companies and spawn a new wave of export opportunities in consulting, research, data analytics; equipment manufacturing; water and wastewater treatment EPC, O&M services; analytical and monitoring services for water,” Kidwai said.
Dr Mihir Shah, Chair, FICCI Water Awards Jury; Distinguished Professor, Shiv Nadar University said that the process of drafting the new water policy has showed us that there is an amazing national consensus among the wide range of stakeholders from State Government to primary stakeholders on the need to make a paradigm shift in the way we manage and govern water.
Mukund Vasudevan, Co-Chair, FICCI Water Mission said that a lot of work has been done and will continue to happen on supply side management, but a focused approach is now required towards demand side management of water.
Two Knowledge compendiums were release during the Conclave – 1) FICCI Compendium of Best Practices – Recognizing Excellence in Water Management & Conservation and 2) Inspiring Change: Stewards of Sustainable Water Management.
8th Edition of FICCI Water Awards were also announced during the inaugural session.