The Union Minister for Jal Shakti Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat will inaugurate the 7th India Water Impact Summit (IWIS 2022) on 15th December, 2022 in the gracious presence of Shri Bishweswar Tudu, the Minister of State for Jal Shakti. The summit is being organized from 15th to 17th December, 2022 at Dr. Ambedkar International Centre, New Delhi by National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) and Center for Ganga River Basin Management and Studies (cGanga) to impart impetus towards developing water and environmental infrastructure to protect rivers and water bodies in India.
The theme of the 7th India Water Impact Summit (IWIS 2022) is ‘Restoration and Conservation of Small Rivers in a Large Basin’ with emphasis on the select aspects of ‘Mapping and Convergence of 5Ps’ – People, Policy, Plan, Programme and Project. In this three-day summit, experts from the country and abroad will discuss ways in which small rivers facing near-extinction in large river basins can be protected. The Summit aims to give an insight into the potential causes for divergence and formulate strategy to achieve convergence. Like the previous editions of IWIS, the event will host a finance forum to bring together global financial institutions and investors interested in river restoration and conservation programmes. It will also provide an opportunity to dozens of technology and innovation companies from around the world to bring their solutions to India and address various issues and concerns pertinent to our river basins.
The five key elements — People, Policy, Plan, Programme and Project— and their convergence is a significant challenge towards river basin management. This is why the 7th Edition of the India Water Impact Summit aims to understand, elaborate, delineate potential causes of divergence, and formulate strategy for convergence. This will be done through collation of views expressed in Plenary Sessions, Panel Discussions, International Forums, and informal discussions through extensive engagement with the most influential players. The plenary sessions of the 7th IWIS include Restoration and Conservation of Small Rivers in a Large Basin ‘Mapping and Convergence of 5P’s, ‘Lessons from Various River Related Programmes’, ‘Bottlenecks and Course Correction in River Related Programmes’. The thematic sessions include ‘Setting the Goal to Determine Healthy Status of the Rivers’, ‘Establishing Present Condition and Norms for Bio-physical Status of Healthy Rivers in Different Stretches and Setting the Milestone’, Formulation and Execution of River Monitoring Programmes’, ‘Information/Data Collation, Utilization and Dissemination Strategy’ etc. The Summit has been divided into five broad Tracks including ‘Science and Policy’, ‘Finance and Economics’, ‘Technology and Innovation’, ‘International’ and ‘Implementation Challenges’.
Heads of several institutions working in the field of water management, water conservation and water preservation will participate in the three-day event. Experts of river science and administrative officers of water related issues will share the platform at the Summit. Shri Pankaj Kumar, Secretary, Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Shri G. Asok Kumar, Director General of National Mission for Clean Ganga, Shri D. Thara, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Shri Avinash Mishra, Advisor in Niti Ayog, Ms. Rupa Mishra, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, and Shri D.P. Mathuria, Executive Director (Technical), NMCG will also participate in the Summit.
Among foreign representatives, Mr. Seppo Nurmi from European Union, Ambassador of Germany, Dr. Philipp Ackermann, Ambassador of Slovenia Mr. Mateja Vodeb Ghosh will also participate in the discussions during the Summit. In addition, other organizations active in the field of environment and science such as World Wildlife Federation, Central Board of Pollution Control along with professors and researchers from national and international academic institutions will participate in the event.
In the 6th edition, there were deliberations on the judicious use of remaining river resources for several developmental and anthropocentric needs. Extending the propositions made in Ganga River Basin Management Plan (GRBMP) released in 2015 by the Consortium of IITs (IITC), team cGanga (Center for Ganga River Basin Management and Studies led by IIT Kanpur) developed the framework for ‘Samarth Ganga’ which refers to ‘Able Rivers’. The foundation of Samarth Ganga can be seen by strengthening five pillars, namely Aviral Ganga, Nirmal Ganga, Arth Ganga, Jan Ganga, and Gyan Ganga. It was also noted that assessment of river resources and preservation of requisite resources for the rivers were needed for the successful implementation of Samarth Ganga.
In the 5th edition of the India Water Impact Summit, understanding the concept and nuances of Arth Ganga was the key focus. Ganga stands on the pinnacle of India’s holy river and symbolizes decades of cultural history of the Indian subcontinent. The deliberations of the summit summarized that development, restoration and conservation of the rivers are the prime facets of the Arth Ganga model. In the past year, there has been a tremendous impact of the Arth Ganga on the lives of people/communities living near the Ganga basin. The model helped in rejuvenating Ganga and its tributaries, and at the same time, uplift the individuals directly impacted by it.