Valuing water, sustaining life

Catch the rain where it falls, when it falls: Vinod Tare

Valuing water, sustaining life

Chandigarh: On World Water Day, Panjab University Alumni Association (PUAA) and Dr. SSBUICET jointly organized a webinar to celebrate the theme of 2021, 'Valuing Water'. 

Highlighting the importance of sustainable management of water resources, Prof. Anupama Sharma, Dean Alumni Relations welcomed  Dean University Instruction, Prof. V. R. Sinha, the Chief Guest, Prof. Vinod Tare, and the distinguished speakers for the day, Mr. Pawan Sachdeva and Ms. Kavita Sachwani. 

Prof. VR Sinha welcomed the audience and underlined the importance of UN Sustainable Goal number 6 i.e. Water and Sanitation for all by 2030. He emphasized the need to raise public awareness among people for preserving the diverse ecosystem. He shared his experiences while he was in Banaras and applauded the efforts of honourable Prime Minister and Prof. Vinod Tare for undertaking Namami gange project in a missionary zeal. He said that the broad theme of this webinar is to not only raise awareness about the global water crisis faced by mankind and avoiding wastage of water, but to truly understand and celebrate the multidimensional value of this irreplaceable source of sustenance.   

The Chief Guest, Prof. Vinod Tare, Professor, IIT Kanpur is the founding head of 'cGanga', Center for Ganga River Basin Management and Studies and a committed soul to Government’s flagship Namami Gange project. Raising the tagline of 'Valuing Water, Transforming Ganga', Prof. Vinod emphasized the importance of understanding and valuing 'Arth Ganga', aiming to merge the river conservation and development plans to grow the economy around water. He emphasized the need for local participation and participation of all the stakeholders, which is imperative to ensure clean water for all. Further, repeating Prime Minister’s slogan “Catch the rain where it falls, when it falls”, he stressed on the necessity of Rain Water Harvesting system. In the end, he shared a short video of water treatment plant at his own premises.  

Ms. Kavita Sachwan, the distinguished speaker of the day, is the State Program Coordinator at 2030 Water Resources Group at World Bank. She in her discourse stressed the need to link the circular water economy with the concept of valuing water while incorporating the principles of equity. She highlighted the fact that COVID-19 has further reinstated the need for water and changing climate has added to the complexity. Adding on, she pointed out that the Government of India is focusing on the safe re-use of water, with emphasis on water treatment policies and also improving the monetary value of water. Further, she said that there is a necessity to leverage technology for monitoring and conservation of water resources. There is a strong need to dip into alternative investment sources, while involving all stakeholders and policy makers. She underlined that it is essential that the big corporate houses should adhere to disclosure policy for water usage.

Mr. Pawan Sachdeva, Non-Executive Director of Water Management International, Singapore, and Director at Avendus Capital, emphasized on the need for data and statistics to solve the water crisis issue. He highlighted that economic evaluations are extremely crucial and system design also holds an equally important spot. The sequence of solutions is more important than knowing the extent of the problem. He further added that one of the main issues is the serious lack of human capital in the required sector. 

The webinar witnessed a coalition of experts from a spectrum of excellence and experience. 

Prof. Amrit Pal Toor, Chairperson Dr. SSBUICET presented the vote of thanks and invited the speakers to visit the institute for interacting with students.