2nd day of the 5th IWIS: Brain-storming on "Arth Ganga" for River Conservation



The 5th India Water Impact Summit (IWIS) organized jointly by NMCG (GoI) and cGanga (IIT Kanpur) continued spiritedly on the second day with focus on synchronising human settlement with river conservation. In the first session today covering Science, Technology & Policy, Prof. Vinod Tare, Founder and Head, cGanga, stressed on several important aspects, namely: (i) river conservation must combine traditional knowledge with modern science; (ii) conservation of small rivers and waterbodies should be carried out simultaneously with other economic and developmental activities; (iii) people need to be sensitized for water conservation; (iv) treated water should be locally used along with differential pricing; (v) conservation of urban rivers and “nulla”s must be embedded in urban planning; (vi) environmental benefits must be included in development economics; and (vii) development is needed not only for humans but also for rivers and other ecosystems.




In the Plenary Session today, Shri Amitabh Kant (IAS), CEO of NITI Aayog, spoke extensively on the importance of rivers and their exalted position in Indian culture. He lamented the present-day anthropogenic misuse and pollution of rivers, and demanded stoppage of waste disposal in rivers. He stressed on ensuring sustainability in all developmental activity, and said that rainwater, if conserved and used properly, can solve most local water needs. He also said that, modern scientific knowledge apart, river conservation demanded intense passion and devotion. Prof. Vinod Tare opined that, if local water agencies are fully trained, then the need to get water from distant sources will be unnecessary, and related economic and environmental losses can be avoided. Shri R.R. Mishra (DG, NMCG) expounded on the need for River City Alliances and NMCG’s efforts in this direction.

Several ideas and means to link river conservation beneficially with human settlement came out of today’s deliberations.

The Summit continued its further deliberations of the previous day on Water Sector Finance and Innovative Environmental Technology Presentations.

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