International Water Conference

January 18, 2020

International Water Conference – A Water Secure World: A Report

Chetana’s Institutes of Management and Research hosted a day-long international conference on a water secure world on the campus, on January 18, 2020.

The event was inaugurated by Dr. Madhumita Patil, CEO, CIMR. In her inaugural address, Dr Patil spoke about how the conference was organized and managed primarily by the students, outlined the various initiatives taken by CIMR Founder-President, the late Shri. Madhukarrao Chaudhari, towards water conservation and management, and also emphasized on the need for water management and security.

After the event was declared open, the keynote speaker, Ajay Popat, President, Ion Exchange India Ltd,showedthe students a compelling video based on the vision of Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam on what the year 2070 wouldlook like if we did not adopt water conservation practices with immediate effect. He took a more technical approach and provided us with facts and figures to stress the serious problem of water scarcity and its consequences for the socio-economic development of the country.After listing out some of the major projects that his company, Ion Exchange India Ltd,had undertaken to increase water security, Mr Popat concluded by saying that water was everyone’s business and that we could make a difference only if we came together in the cause of water conservation.

Niv Pintow was our international speaker from Israel and owner, Livn at Engineering. He focused on the difference between a crisis, a water crisis and a water management crisis. Using Israel as an example, he provided us with the various methods implemented towards becoming a water-secure country. He emphasized on how trust between the people and the government was crucial, and concluded by stating that people would use water conservation techniques once we put a price on water. He was glad to see so many students of Chetana’s Institutes of Management and Research present for the international water conference on a Saturday morning.

Mr Rajendra Pawar, Secretary (CADA), Govt. of Maharashtra, took up Mr Pintow’s point further and explained how Israel did what India was now striving to do. He explained the difference in water demand between rural and urban areas, and threw light on the various water conservation initiatives undertaken by the state government. Mr. Pawar concluded by urging the students to act as ambassadors to spread awareness about climate change and the need for water security.

The three speakers were then presented with tokens of appreciation followed by a vote of thanks by Dr. Hufrish Majra, Faculty of Marketing at CIMR, who summed up the key takeaways from our speakers and reminded us that water security wasultimately in our hands.

The conferencecontinued with a panel discussion on Innovative Practices in Water Management. The panel – which included Mr. Harish Chandar (Director, India tech), Mr. Vinay Deodhar (Director, Clean tech solutions), Mr Romiel Samuel (Executive Director, Indus Water Institute) and Mr. Milind Murudkar (MD, Sai sanket Enterprises) was moderated by Dr. Sandeep Nemlekar (Associate Professor, CIMR).

The panel discussion began with Mr. Deodhar telling us about how wastewater should not be considered a waste and the need for shorter transport routes to reduce water wastage. Mr. Chandar emphasized on the integration of AI, IoT and Cloud Computing in water management and how technology was the way to sustainable water security. Mr Samuel made us realise about the lack of awareness with regard to water conservation and the various available career opportunities in the field. Mr. Murudkar cited examples of various crops and explained how different cultivation techniques impacted water conservation.

Dr. Nemlekar then posed questions to the panel.

On whether copying Israel’s practices was the way to go, Mr. Samuel responded by saying that although they would benefit India to some extent, there was no single solution and the answer would vary based on the problemat hand. They then informed the students regarding the various career opportunities in the water sector, following by which the panel was opened to questions from the student-audience.

The studentsthen conducted a research paper presentation in three tracks, followed by a valedictory address.

(With inputs from Anshuman Singh, BhaveshBhole and ThaynTrikannad)

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