Mr G Asok Kumar, Additional Secretary & Mission Director, National Water Mission, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Government of India, urged for decentralized approach in managing water in urban areas. With increase in competing demands for water, an Integrated Urban Water Management & Planning would be an important step towards ensuring the water security of the nation . Rainwater harvesting, collecting sewage, recycling and protecting river system should be a central component of Integrated urban water management. He was speaking at the CII Conference on Urban Water Management organised by CII virtually today. According to him the resident welfare associations have a major role in influencing urban water management at household level. He also stressed on more coordination between various authorities in the urban water sector. Going forward, it will be imperative to reduce dependency on freshwater and put treated water for non potable purpose, concluded the speaker.
A collective consciousness at city level can lead to paradigm shift in water management said Ms D Thara, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs, Government of India. She was very critical of the existing feudal mindset of city dwellers in addressing the water challenges and called upon for a democratic and scientific approach for ensuring water security. Ms Thara, called upon CII to reach out to its members and create a willingness amongst industry to prioritize use of treated water for their operations.
Mr Avinash Mishra, Advisor – Water Resources & Land Resources, NITI Aayog, Government of India said that sustainable availability of water both for rural and urban is a big challenge which requires a sensitive approach to address the water needs of the country. He underscored for ensuring sustainability of source, revival of traditional water bodies, water budgeting, dual plumbing and participatory ground water management for changing the water trajectory in urban areas.
Dr Victor R Shinde, Team Lead – Water and Environment, National Institute of Urban Affairs speaking on river sensitive planning shared that “Rivers are among the most productive ecosystem a city can have. Rivers have strong economic, social and cultural value and healthy rivers are a vital cog for sustainable development, however, a number of development pressures have led to the deterioration of state of rivers over the years”. Dr Shinde, stressed managing urban rivers is an emerging paradigm in sustaining social, economic and environmental development. A collaborative effort amongst stakeholder will bring water to the centre of sustainability. He highlighted the role of industry in introducing new & emerging technologies and forging feasible PPP ventures in the water sector.
Mr Rajesh Sharma, Chairman CII National Council on Water &CMD, ION Exchange (India) Ltd gave a clarion call for innovation to optimize water use efficiency. At the city level, in the contemporary context it is important to realize wastewater as an alternative source of water which not only reduces pollution but also saves freshwater. He also stressed for a decentralized approach and involvement of city dwellers to bring about an ownership in managing the dwindling resource.
Responsible cities will have to demonstrate implementing integrated approach to water management said Mr Ananya Singhal, Conference Chairman & JMD, Secure Meters Ltd. As cities continues to grow it will be important to reduce consumption, reuse treated water and restore water bodies, he added.
To address the challenges of urban water management, Mr N K Ranganath, Co-Chair, CII NCW Core Group on Urban Water Management & Member Advisory Board, CII Water Institute, opined for capacity development of urban planners to implement holistic water management. He stressed for adhering to the principle of 5R- reduce, reuse, recycle, restore and recharge for manging the scarce resources.
9 September 2021