India Water Week is a key initiative of the Ministry of Water Resources, Government of India for sharing best practices and exchanging ideas to identify timely solutions to critical water issues confronting India and the world today. The fourth edition of India Water Week was observed from 04 April 2016 to 08 April, 2016 in New Delhi.
The theme for this year’s India Water week was chosen to be Water for all: Striving together. Israel was selected as the partner country for this mega event in which about 1,500 delegates from India and 20 other countries participated.
The event was divided into Seminars, Brainstorming sessions, Panel Discussions, Case studies and Side Events. Apart from this, an Exhibition entitled Water Expo-2016 was also organised which showcased the technologies and solutions in water resources sector.
India Water Week concluded today with a valedictory speech by the Hon’ble President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee. The Hon’ble President shared that he cannot emphasize enough the value of a multidisciplinary approach to water management. He highlighted the need for resilient ecosystems, modern data management systems and innovations in technology as a solution to the water crisis.
He also highlighted the need to strengthen our laws so that they inculcate a respect for the principle that water is a common legacy. He urged everyone to treasure water and utilize it in a manner that enables us to pass it on to our Generation Next. Government’s Krishi Sinchayee Yojana, Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan and Integrated Watershed Management Programme are some important programmes to achieve this objective, as highlighted by the Hon’ble President.
The Hon’ble President also shared some startling facts with the delegates of India Water Week. He said, “While India represents 17 per cent of the world’s population, we possess only 4 per cent of its renewable water resources. As we are aware, the per capita availability of water to our people is decreasing by the day.
The impact of climate change on the hydrological cycle and consequent variations in precipitation are causing severe floods and drought with alarming frequency. Due to population expansion, increasing urbanization and industrialisation, demands for water are stretching our resources.
It is a growing challenge to meet the needs of our people on a sustainable basis. In our country and all over the world, conservation and optimal utilisation of the limited availability of the world’s water will remain a foremost priority for many years to come.”
The Hon’ble President also shared how the National Water Mission was launched in 2011 with the objective of conservation, minimization of wastage and equitable distribution of water. And that how Interlinking of Rivers programme is expected to address regional imbalances in water availability and provide water for the irrigation of 35 million hectares of land and also facilitate 34,000 MW of hydropower.
The Hon’ble President congratulated Israel, this year’s partner country and commended its Government, scientists, technicians and people for developing practical innovations for optimally utilizing – and saving every drop of water that they can.
The Agriculture Minister of Israel Mr. Uri Ariel in his message to the conclave said active participation of experts and practitioners from Israel, together with the national pavilion showcasing dozens of Israeli companies and their advanced technologies, presented a glimpse of what could be or what will be the nature of such a new, comprehensive, upgraded form of Indian-Israel water partnership.
Prior to this, during the inaugural ceremony of India Water Week, the Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Sushri Uma Bharti had also highlighted that all sections of the society will have to work together for water conservation.
Other dignitaries who were present during the valedictory session of the India Water Week include Shri Suresh Prabhu, Union Minister of Railways; Sushri Uma Bharti Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation; Shri Chaudhary Birender Singh, Union Minister of Rural Development, Drinking Water & Sanitation and Panchayati Raj; Smt. Vasundhra Raje, Chief Minister of Rajasthan and Shri Sanwar Lal Jat, MoS for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.