Seminar on ‘Water Security and Climate Change: Challenges and Strategies’ in Amritsar


IndiacsrAmritsar: Guru Arjan Dev Institute of Development Studies Amritsar  is organising a three day seminar on water management in November. The topic of the seminar would be ‘Water Security and Climate Change: Challenges and Strategies’. Dr Gursharan Singh Kainth, Director of Guru Arjan Dev Institute of Development Studies informed INDIACSR.

“Water security for India implies effective responses to changing water conditions in terms of quality, quantity and uneven distribution. Unheeded it can affect relationships at the inter-state level and equally contribute to tensions at the intra-provincial level.” he said.

Water is a fundamental human need and a critical national asset. It is the key to socio-economic development and quality of life. As the pressures of population and economic activities converge on water requirement, the water sector will increasingly face the challenge of bridging the demand-supply gap. Water covers most of the planet but only 3 per cent of it is fresh water of which 2 per cent is frozen in ice caps and glaciers.

A mere 1 per cent in the form of lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, swamps, marshes and bogs, is readily accessible and relied on for human consumption. It is this amount that truly matters when sizing up the water challenge. Water security implies affordable access to clean water for agricultural, industrial and household usage and is thus an important part of human security. Water along with food and energy forms a critical part of the ‘new security agenda’ and redefines the understanding of security as a basis for policy-response and long-term planning.

The Union Ministry of Water Resources has estimated the countries water requirements to be around 1093 BCM for the year 2025 and 1447 BCM for the year 2050. With projected population growth of 1.4 billion by 2050, the total available water resources would barely match the total water requirement of the country. In 1951, the annual per capita availability of water was 5177 m3, which reduced to 1342 m3 by 2000. India is facing a serious water resource problem. The facts indicate that India is expected to become ‘water stressed’ by 2025 and ‘water scarce’ by 2050.

The National Commission for Integrated Water Resource Development (NCIWRD) has estimated that against a total annual availability of 1953 BCM (inclusive of 432 BCM of ground water and 1521 BCM of surface water) only 1123 BCM (433 BCM ground water and 690 BCM surface water), i .e., only 55.6 per cent can be put to use. The high-level of pollution further restricts the utilizable water thus posing a serious threat to its availability and use.

Ensuring fresh and pure water to every individual is a significant tool of empowerment for the poor and vulnerable society of the globe. However, inadequate knowledge of policy and regulatory framework and its poor implementation, combined with a non-transparent and non participatory water management process is proving to be the root cause of many water related problems. Hence, it is necessary to deliberate these issues both scientifically and socially with policy makers, international and national water experts.

This seminar endeavors to share latest as well as traditional water knowledge and best practices on this issue, and discuss the possible options available for integrated water resource management. The conference will encompass the issues that are mentioned as the priorities in the ‘National Water Mission’ which is one of the eight national missions that are part of the National Action Plan on Climate Change.

The seminar will provide a space for discussion, interaction, dissemination of information to policy-makers, water managers, academics, students and the public in general.

Venue of the Seminar: Conference Hall of Guru Nanak Bhawan, Guru Nanak dev University, Amritsar-143005
Duration and Dates: Three days (November 4 to November 6, 2011)
Language of the Seminar: Official language of the seminar will be English
Organizer of the Seminar: Guru Arjan Dev Institute of Development Studies, 14-Preet Avenue, Majitha Road, PO Naushera, Amritsar-143008

Contact details
3rd IDSAsr Seminar Secretariat,\
Guru Arjan Dev Institute of Development Studies
14-Preet Avenue, Majitha Road,
PO Naushera, Amritsar-143008
Tel: 91-183-2426045

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