Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee organized a virtual workshop on water issues. The objective of the workshop was to improve the application of scientific and technical know-how for the benefit of society in this critical area.

The workshop identified issues, problems and projects to explore synergies among various institutes to conduct in-depth research in this direction. The workshop was presided by Prof Ajit K Chaturvedi, Director, IIT Roorkee, and coordinated by Prof Arun Kumar, Department of Hydro and Renewable Energy, IIT Roorkee.

“Solving practical problems need the partnership of research institutions and agencies working on the frontline. We hope to conceive and execute meaningful projects on the ground. We would like to thank the heads and senior officers of the participating institutions for their enthusiastic participation” said Prof Ajit K Chaturvedi, Director, IIT Roorkee.

The highlight of the workshop was four enlightening panel discussions on issues such as Irrigation, River Basin, water resources assessment, irrigation efficiency, river training, flood protection, river morphology, sedimentation, and many more.

The organizations participated were Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, Irrigation Research Institute, National Institute of Hydrology, Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, Forest Research Institute, Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education, Govind Ballabh Pant University of Agriculture & Technology, GB Pant Institute of Environment MoEF&CC, State Remote Sensing Centres the institutions in Uttarakhand and UP.

The user departments from the state of Uttarakhand, UP, Haryana and Punjab were State Irrigation Departments, Peyjal/Jal Nigam/Public Health Engineering Department, Rural Water supply and Sanitation, groundwater, Forest, Power, Jal Nigam, State Pollution Board, State Disaster Management Agency and Watershed Directorates.

“The need of the hour is the paradigm shift from improving water supply to water use efficiency, reducing leakages, recharging water resources in the water-related issues in India.  The initiative is in line with our commitment to leverage our expertise and enrich the discourse on water,” said Prof Arun Kumar, Department of Hydro and Renewable Energy, IIT Roorkee.

According to an estimate, over 21% of diseases in India are water-related and only 33% of the population has access to traditional sanitation. Despite rich water resources in several states such as Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, a large number of regions of the country face problems related to drinking water, irrigation, floods, droughts, erosion, siltation, sanitation, hydropower etc.

India’s water crisis is often improper management of water and industrial waste and injudicious allocation of resources. The recent event of Feb 07, 2021, further enforces the need for studies of Glacier melting and creating developing sustainable mitigation measures. The increase in population to 1.6 billion by the year 2050 will put a further strain on water resources.