The Indian economy at present is struggling with excessive population growth and changing water resource conditions, making it a tremendous challenge for the authorities to meet the growing water demand in an affordable way. This uncertainty in water availability can greatly be addressed by optimal management of our water resources and effective functioning of the water utilities. In this scenario, addressing water scarcity, enhancing water efficiency and increasing water productivity go hand-in-hand.

The theme this year focuses on sharing the best practises in water use efficiency in three spheres viz. Industry, Agriculture and Urban. In addition to the water use efficiency, the Conclave will focus on the need for circular economy pathways to harness the interdependencies between the water uses of different sectors for meeting their water demand. The emphasis will be on policy, technology and management practices around water and on creation of market for wastewater reuse. The deliberations in each session will highlight opportunities in water use efficiency through policy interventions and multi stakeholder engagement, to ensure wastewater is used as a resource.

Water Use Efficiency in Agriculture: Towards Sustainable Farming

Substantial improvements in agricultural water use efficiency are required to focus on food security issues arising from increasing population. Emerging irrigation technologies, crop management practices, systematic crop intensification etc. are proven measures for progressing towards ‘More Crop per Drop’ and improvement in the agricultural sector. The session will highlight innovative agricultural methods and techniques by private sector and research institutes to enhance water use efficiency in agriculture.

Closing the loop: Industry Leadership in Water

Water governance in the Industrial sector plays a significant role in achieving water security. Business leaders recognise water scarcity as one of the most daunting challenges for the future and the biggest risk to business resilience. Businesses therefore are implementing measures and investing in research and innovation to address the risk. This session will highlight industry best practises in water use efficiency- recycle and reuse of wastewater, Zero Liquid Discharge, industry technological innovations, online monitoring etc. It will also focus on enabling factors for scaling up of these initiatives.

The Urban Context for Water: Challenges and Way Forward

Improving urban water-use efficiency is a key solution to India’s short-term and long-term water challenges. Efficient management of water and wastewater systems in addition to reuse of treated water in areas where fresh water is not an absolute requirement has become essential. The session will highlight best practice examples for improving water use efficiency, along with innovative practices in wastewater treatment and reuse. Moreover, the session will open the platform for creation of opportunities for private sector participation through innovative PPP models, with emphasis on creation of markets for wastewater reuse.