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7th Edition of India Water Impact Summit Concludes Today

The experts agreed that the direction of a river's health cannot be determined just by biochemical signs, but by status of the aquatic life in a river.

Ayushi Sikarwar
India Water Impact Summit
7th Edition of India Water Impact Summit (Courtesy: Twitter)

The 7th India Water Impact Summit came to an end on Sunday, December 17, following three days of successful discussions on significant issues related to water conservation and river revitalization, with a focus on the rebirth of minor rivers for the preservation of major basins.

The experts from the water, environmental, and administrative sectors unanimously agreed on the third and final day of the summit that the country urgently needs to create a National River Framework that would set the standards for monitoring river health, responsibility, and process.

It was agreed upon by all specialists that just biochemical indicators alone cannot determine the direction of a river's health. The health of a river can be determined by the condition of the aquatic life that is present. The native aquatic species must be considered in this procedure rather than the exotic species that have been grown in the river for economic interests.

G Asok Kumar, Director General of the National Mission for Clean Ganga, presided over the last session (NMCG). The session's moderator was Prof. Vinod Tare of cGanga. The DG, NMCG reiterated the need to shift the emphasis to implementation and expressed optimism that by the next time, good changes will be visible on the ground.

"The deliberations have enabled us to identify the areas we have to work upon. Now, it is time to implement and see results on the ground. Water is crucial for the existence of mankind and is finally getting the respect and value it deserves. We all can see that, now, a lot of focus is on water-related issues even at the district administration level which was not the case about a decade ago", he said.


He said that Namami Gange has taken the lead in river conservation at the urban planning level and has adopted measures like the river-city alliance to ensure rivers are not contaminated, ensure a circular economy, recover resources, and manage water resources.

Thanks to the efforts of the NMCG, water is now being considered as a resource for boosting the GDP of nearby districts through tourism, healthcare, and other industries, he added.

Session A3 of the final summit day focused on 'Formulation and Execution of River Monitoring Programmes'. Finding obstacles to river restoration and conservation programmes was the session's key goal.

Moreover, participants in the discussion on the summit's international track included representatives from the European Union, Norway, Germany, and Slovenia. The foreign participants all agreed that India is a natural laboratory for river research due to the management of rivers and basins within geographical diversity. Participants from other countries noted that India would likely become the top teacher of river science in the world given the current state of work toward river restoration.

International representatives further emphasized the need to establish a COP conference on water at the global level as well.

For the not known, 'Restoration and Conservation of small rivers in a large basin' is the theme of the 7th India Water Impact Summit (IWIS 2022), with a focus on some of the 'Mapping and Convergence of 5Ps' - People, Policy, Plan, Programme, and Project.

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