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Thursday, April 21, 2016

India close to being water scarce from water stressed: TERI


Press Release

India close to being water scarce from water stressed: TERI

Chennai, April 20, 2016:To address the looming water scarcity and water pollution crisis, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), today announced signing of an MoU with WAPCOS (APSU under the aegis of Union Ministry of Water Resource, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India). The partnership was announced at the India Water Forum, which was organised by TERI and the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of Indiawith the theme of ‘Water for Sustainability: Towards Development and Prosperity’. The new partnership will address the challenges of climate change and water scarcitythrough interventions like enhancing water use efficiency, water conservation, recycle and reuse, water demand management through a participatory mechanism for a period of three years.

India is facing multiple challenges in water sectoras many statesare facing frequent droughtsand groundwater in several regions stands overexploited. Water is a finite resource, and its availability will soon be a significant challenge amongst all users and sectors due to continually rising and competing demand, inefficient use, pollution, cropping pattern, cross subsidies and potential risks due to climate change. The continuously declining per capita water availability in India (from about 5,177 cubic metres (m3 ) in 1951 to 1,545 m3 in 2011) has put the country into a ‘water stressed’ category and is close to being categorized as ‘water scarce’, said TERI.

The forum also witnessed participation from Sushri Uma Bharti, Union Minister forWater Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India, as the chief guest. During the inaugural address, she said, “This conference can guide us in solving many of the water related challenges that India is facing now.  She further added that rejuvenating Ganga will become a model for our other rivers. “We should look at interlinking of rivers. It will be link only surplus and monsoon flows through new rivers. This will be done in a people and environment friendly manner. TERI can play a crucial role in this as well as providing solutions for conserving groundwater.”

TERI mentioned that a combination of interventions at various levels needs to be undertaken with a participatory approach for sustainable water management. There exists various innovative ways to conserve water such as use of drip & sprinkler systems in irrigation, use of water efficient fixtures & waterless urinals in households, artificial recharge of groundwater, recycle and reuse of wastewater for non-potable purposes such as gardening, horticulture, use of real-time sensor based information tools & techniques for effective decision making etc. Besides these, policy interventions like incentive & disincentive mechanisms, participatory programs are vital to the success of water management.

Dr. S K Sarkar, Director, Water Division, TERI said, “Studies show that by 2030, the world’s demand of fresh water uses will be over 40% of existing reliable supplies. The highest water use is in agriculture, where efficiency is very low, and the demand side needs to be managed. IWF will aim at and discussing and indicating solutions to these and more.”
Over the years, TERI has been working with multiple stakeholders at various levels to identify interventions for policy reforms as well as sustainable and efficient water management solutions. Working along with several water intensive sectors such as power plants, heavy engineering, pharmaceuticals, beverages among others, TERI’s work has focused on enhancing their water use efficiency and design technical, financial & institutional strategies for water supply & demand management. TERI also assistslocal communities in interventions on drinking water and sanitation as well as participatory watershed management and groundwater conservation.

About TERI
The Energy and Resources Institute is an independent, not-for-profit research institute focused on energy, environment, and sustainable development and devoted to efficient and sustainable use of natural resources. Since its inception in 1974, TERI has emerged as an institution of excellence for its path-breaking research, and is a global brand widely respected by political leaders, policy makers, corporate entities as well as the civil society at large.

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