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Govt to focus on demand side of water management: Gajendra Singh Shekhawat

Jan 24, 2020

Time tested proven technology needs to be expanded


NEW DELHI, 24 January 2020: Mr Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Minister of Jal Shakti, Govt of India, today said that now the time has come to focus on supply side management of water conservation instead of just demand side management.


Speaking at '5th edition of India Industry Water Conclave and '7th edition of FICCI Water Awards', organised by FICCI, Mr Shekhawat said that government also already started adopting latest technologies in water management. He said that rural areas are not getting covered with 3D aquifer mapping to ensure the exact water level in the area. "We have to ensure as to how we can reduce the water usage, recycle it and re-use it," added Mr Shekhawat.


He said that the National Groundwater Management Improvement Scheme, (worth Rs 6000 crores), will be supported with financial assistance from World Bank, Rs 3000 crores and remaining by the government through budgetary support.  


He further said that the government has recently launched 'Atal Bhujal Yojna'which is a groundwater management scheme and it is based on the participation by all concerned stakeholders. "First time we have initiated a pilot scheme for demand side management which will cover 400 districts in 7 states", he added.     


Mr Shekhawat said that state participation is key in solving the issue of water management and emphasised on the need of adopting best practices which states have already implemented in water conservation. "There is a need to expand the time-tested proven technologies and government is working in that direction," he said.


Highlighting the role of corporate sector in water management, Mr Shekhawat said that government alone cannot solve the issue, hence all stakeholders including corporate sector should come forward. "I urge the industry to come forward and invest in hydrological system and can play an active role in promoting wastewater use," he added.


Mr Parameswaran Iyer, Secretary, Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Govt of India, emphasized on 'People's Participation' and highlighted the government's focus on the subsidiarity principle and the need for state action. He added that the government has setup an innovation taskforce to improve efficiency of water. "Water is very much on the national agenda. Water conservation needs to be managed at the grassroot levels," he said.


He said that source sustainability will become a critical part of Jal Jeevan Mission. He referred to four principles for water management including political leadership and people participation.  He also emphasized on greater focus of the government highlighting the ABCDEF (Alignment, Belief, Communication, Delivery, Experience, Forum) of the implementation.


Mr Upendra Prasad Singh, Secretary, Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Govt of India, urged the industry to play a responsible role in water conservation and reflect on adoption of traditional practices and source sustainability. He also emphasized on the need for basin authority for effective and efficient water management.


Mr Singh added that the government is serious in ensuring water security but also suggested industry to also contribute in this. He further added that it is important that we create awareness about the water literacy in the country.


Ms Naina Lal Kidwai, Chairman, FICCI Water Mission and Past President, FICCI highlighted the need for a much stronger regulatory framework and also suggested for having a national wastewater policy. She also urged for greater corporate stewardship.


"Water use efficiency is a key determinant in addressing both quantity and quality of water and for this, the circular approach towards water needs to be addressed at war footing to utilize water optimally across industry, agriculture and urban demands," Ms Kidwai added.


Dr Mihir Shah, Chair, FICCI Water Awards and Chairman of the Government's Committee to Draft the National Water Policy acknowledged the changing tradition towards democratization of water and emphasized on the need for active participation of primary stakeholders during the formulation of policy and regulatory measures for effective implementation.


Mr Mukund Vasudevan, Co-chair, FICCI Water Mission and Managing Director & Country Head, Ecolab also shared his perspective on water management.


7th edition of FICCI Water Awards was also given away during the event.




Industrial Water Use Efficiency

Arvind Limited

Arvind Limited was awarded 1st prize in the Industrial Water Use Efficiency Category for their efforts on water efficient foam dyeing technology, Reverse Osmosis, desalination and reuse of wastewater, steam condensation and condensate recovery system.

Innovation in Water Technology

SSP Private Limited

SSP Private Limited was awarded 1st prize under the Innovation in Water Technology Category for their innovations on Reverse Osmosis to recover portable water and desalination of brine to recover water and table salt.

Water Initiative by NGO

-          WASH Institute

-          Pratiks Enviro Foundation


WASH Institute and Pratiks Enviro Foundation were awarded joint 1st prize under the Water Initiatives by NGO Category. 


WASH Institute was awarded for their efforts on solid-liquid separation and sludge thickening and effluent treatment.


Pratiks Enviro Foundation was awarded for their efforts on anaerobic and anoxic process and for carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous removal.


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