Five pronged approach to ensure water security of the state which includes investment in future water assets, rehabilitation of existing assets, incentivising farmers to use modern irrigation methods, basin transfers to supply water from surplus to deficient areas and leveraging technology, was outlined by Principal Secretary – Water Resources, Government of Rajasthan, Mr Naveen Mahajan. He further stated that time is opportune for investing in water reuse and recycling, introducing modern methods of irrigation like drip and sprinkler as well as reducing water usage. The State Government is committed to the promotion of drip and sprinkler irrigation. All future irrigation projects in the State will be mandatorily on drip and sprinkler irrigation. Existing projects are being incentivised so that farms may embrace drip and sprinkler irrigation. Top-up subsidies are also being provided to make the movement a success. He was addressing the inaugural session of the virtual conference- ‘Rajasthan Water Summit’ organised by FICCI Rajasthan State Council. The session was moderated by Head, FICCI Rajasthan State Council, Mr Atul Sharma.
Chief Representative, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) India Office, Mr Katsuo Matsumoto said that JICA has been working with the Government of Rajasthan for about 30 years. Currently, work is on-going on a project aimed at providing safe and adequate drinking water to people in the Nagaur district. The groundwater in Nagaur is heavily contaminated with Fluoride. When the project was started 8 years ago, about 34% of children between the ages of 6 to 14 were affected by fluorosis. Around 80% of the households were unable to access safe drinking water. The project is 90% complete and will benefit more than 24 lakh people upon completion.
Secretary General, FICCI, Mr Dilip Chenoy said that all stakeholders need to cooperate to reduce water consumption and leverage technology to get optimum use of water. He shared how FICCI is helping industries in Rajasthan to optimise the usage of water through Water Audits. He also suggested to institutionalise State Water Awards to acknowledge good work done in water management and conservation. The suggestion was accepted by Principal Secretary – Water Resources during the programme and mentioned that it would be finalised in next one month.
Partner and Leader – Urban Infrastructure, PwC India, Mr Shivanshu Chauhan said that water requirement is expected to grow at 3% CAGR by the financial year 2024 due to increasing plant capacity across multiple industrial sectors. The Government initiatives to co-locate industrial units in ‘corridors’ are expected to match treatment and industrial growth. Some conflicting forces are– rise in urbanisation, depleting water levels, traditional financial models, improved hygiene standards and much more.
Earlier, delivering the opening remarks, Chairman, FICCI Rajasthan State Council & CMD, Kajaria Ceramics Ltd, Mr Ashok Kajaria said that we have depleted stocks of groundwater at the expense of our future water needs. We are now on the verge of water bankruptcy in many places with no way of paying the debt back. There is still enough water for all of us – but only so long as we keep it clean, use it more wisely and share it fairly. Later, Co-Chairman, FICCI Rajasthan State Council & CMD, Mandawa Hotels, Mr Randhir Vikram Singh delivered the vote of thanks and suggested to adopt some of our age-old traditions wherein households in various parts of the state, especially in areas where water is saline, used to store rainwater for usage for rest of the year.
Following this, Plenary Session – ‘Reduce-Reuse-Recycle: Future Strategies, Innovations & Emerging Technologies’ was held. The session was chaired by Head – Business Development & Marketing, Mahindra World City (Jaipur) Ltd, Mr Anuj Bindal. It featured speakers from Central Ground Water Board, Hindustan Zinc Ltd, Urdhvam Environmental Technologies Pvt Ltd, WaterGen Israel, and Wipro Water. The session discussed in detail the gaining popularity of treated water as an alternate water source, use of water-efficient technology, desalinating sea water, agricultural reforms to reduce water wastage, treating sewage as a source of feed water, and much more. Similarly, and Bore Charger to enhance the yield of failed or low yielding bore wells were also discussed.
Senior Advisor & India Head, WaterGen Israel, Mr Maayan Mulla shared innovative and modern water management technology like WaterGen used to extract water from the atmospheric humidity which produces Premium quality water at the point of use and also Safe, trusted & produced continuously in a range of applications.
Sharing about the best water management practises followed at Hindustan Zinc Ltd, Corporate Head – Environment & Sustainability, Mr Pradeep Singh said that at Hindustan Zinc strong water management policy is placed and we have established Water Management Community to ensure strong governance for Water conservation at source, Zero Liquid discharge from operations, Rainwater harvesting and water accounting.
Talking about the innovating solution of recharging borewells, Founder & CEO, Urdhvam Environmental Technologies Pvt Ltd, Mr Rahul Bakare said that it is patented, affordable, sustainable, smart rain water harvesting solution that increases recharge of borewells 4 to 20 times that of natural recharge.
Vice President & Head, Wipro Water, Mr T M Nagarajan talked about the treatment and recycle of sewage water for industrial reuse and shared many technological choices available, their economic consideration and high viability areas for reuse.