PHDCCI organised International Water Conclave supported by Ministry of Jal Shakti; Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change; Mission LiFE, and Smart Cities Mission. The conclave brought together over 200 delegates, including experts, industry players, and researchers, to deliberate on the critical issue of water scarcity and its impact on socio-economic development.
The growing worldwide population and rapid urbanisation have led to a rapid increase in demand for water resources, while 36% of the population already lives in water-scarce areas. It is estimated that by 2050, the global population will increase by 2 billion people, and more than half of the population will live in water-stressed areas. The objective of the conclave was to explore how new age technologies can provide solutions to the problems of water scarcity and water stress. Shri Varun Gupta, Chair, Water Resources & Solid Waste Management Committee, PHDCCI, emphasized on new age technologies for water management and conservation using advanced sensors data analytics and artificial intelligence. “By installing sensors in our water systems, we can monitor water usage in real-time, identify leaks and other inefficiencies, and make more informed decisions about how to allocate our water resources,” he said.
Shri Y K Singh, Director, National Jal Jeevan Mission, Department of Drinking Water & Sanitation, Ministry of Jal Shakti, spoke about the contemporary challenges to water sustainability, which include population expansion, climatic changes, rapid groundwater exploitation, heavy urbanization, and industrialization.
He talked about how Government of India has been taking strategic steps to address such challenges via innovation and technology. He cited the Manthan platform as an example of how it creates platform between technology providers and users to addresses issues regarding water management and conservation. He also emphasized that behavioral change, in conjunction with technologies such as IoT, AI, and GIS mapping, is a boon to water concerns. In terms of data and figures, he informed attendees that around 85% of rural domiciles now have access to tap water. Padmashri Shri Umashankar Pandey, Water Conservationist, said, ‘Khet pe med lagao, med pe Ped lagao’. He spoke about the urgent need to replenish the source of water with technique of planting trees. He emphasized the importance of trees in replenishing the source of water and cited historical examples of individuals like Rani Durgawati and Ahilya Bai Holkar, who worked towards replenishing water resources in various parts of the country.
Dr. Tarunendu Singh, Chief (Agricultural Services), IFFCO, discussed how the agriculture sector utilizes 90% of the extracted groundwater. He talked about their nano urea liquid technology, that it is a liquid fertilizer made by breaking down conventional urea into smaller particles. This results in a more efficient and effective use of the fertilizer, reducing the overall amount of water needed while also increasing per hectare efficiency. According to Dr. Singh, IFFCO has already started commercial production of the nano urea liquid, which is expected to revolutionize the agricultural industry. Dr. Singh emphasized the need for sustainable agricultural practices and the importance of conserving water resources. Shri Manish Wasuja, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Specialist, UNICEF, emphasized the importance of water in the agricultural setting and discussed the sustainable goals perspective, as well as the careful regulation of water supply. He cited how the Indian government has been taking a very unique approach in terms of water conservation by having mass participation.
Shri Shraman Jha, CEO, Hindustan Unilever Foundation, spoke about the importance of the marriage between new technology and old wisdom. He drew attention to the concern of groundwater level, which is a critical component of water that impacts humanity. He discussed recent water sensitivities and the knowledge distinction between blue and green water, emphasising the need to rationalize water consumption using the green water concept. On this occasion a painting competition was organised for the students from Government and private schools with the theme – Water Conservation for a Greener Future. Children with special needs also participated in the painting competition. The conclave provided a platform for experts and industry players to discuss critical issues related to water scarcity and sustainable development. The Conclave was sponsored by IFFCO, ITC Ltd., and Brahmaputra Board. The event was covered by media partner, Water Digest; GreenBeans Society, Kamla Nehru College was the institutional partner.