GeoSmart Water

Session Theme: India’s Water Situation Today - Water security in the developing world

Globally, water security is emerging as the main sustainability challenge. It is a critical factor for security in many societal and environmental issues and therefore has many far reaching concerns that lie beyond the traditional water sector. In order to study, project, deal with and plan for water security issues, it is imperative that we understand the socio-economic problems, environmental challenges and political barriers that we face when addressing the topic of water.

Making sure that we have access to uncontaminated and reliable water sources is vital. Geospatial technology can aid us in understanding how water systems are impacted by various factors and how to preserve water quantity and quality for the long term.

Water is a critical and dwindling resource in many parts of India. The threat of water stress is approaching quickly for the country as a growing population combined with mass urbanization is putting severe strain on the already stressed water resources. Intelligent and integrated water management is made possible with geospatial technology. Geospatial technology can be used for asset management, for analysing system performance, optimizing work and for easy collaboration with other technologies in order to come up with an integrated water resources management system.

The event will focus on how geospatial and other technologies can help to solve societal challenges around water. Issues like water scarcity, water pollution and water and health will be on the agenda. Viewpoints from businesses, science and politics will be brought to you by key-note speakers from all over the world. In interactive sessions and on during the exhibition, the topics will be elaborated further and business and development opportunities will be explored.

Major Topics
Integrated Water Resources Management

Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) is "a process which promotes the coordinated development and management of water, land and related resources, in order to maximize the resultant economic and social welfare in an equitable manner without compromising the sustainability of vital ecosystems" (GWP). Its guiding principles are social equity, economic efficiency and environmental sustainability. Implementing and using such a system ensures that access to clean, affordable and sufficient water is provided to all.

Creating such a system requires the implementation of informed decision making and watershed management practices. Geospatial technology can play a key role in all aspects of water management, from evaluating the condition of watersheds to modelling the impacts of human activities on the quality and quantity of water, to visualizing substitute management scenarios. Realizing the power of geospatial technology and its unique ability to enhance watershed management, this session will discuss how geospatial technology can help in better management of the watershed amongst water researchers, resource planners, solution providers and technology community worldwide.

Surface Water and Interlinking of Rivers

Interlinking of rivers can lead to the reduction of floods and deal with water shortages that are cropping up in many parts of the country. India has in pipeline a project that will interlink more than 60 rivers across the country. The reason for considering such a massive project is due to the increasing environmental challenges the country is facing due to climate change. Such a project will also help alleviate the dependency of the farmers on monsoon rains and will help cultivate much more land for agricultural purposes.

This session would like to shed light on the challenges and positive outcomes of such a large scale project and how these can be dealt with using geospatial technology. We will be inviting senior government and industry personnel to shed light on the physical, environmental and economic consequences of such a mega project.

The Future of Groundwater in India

Groundwater contributes to the major portion of the world’s freshwater resources. The demand for water resources has exceeded population growth by a factor of two or more over the last hundred years. Excess extraction by people has led to dwindling ground water supplies. In addition to this, the rising temperatures have also compounded the problem and altered the precipitation mix. Further, land sinking also occurs when there is loss of support below the ground caused by reduction in ground water table. This is most often caused by human activities, mainly from the overuse of groundwater, when the soil collapses, compacts and drops. With the innovation and advancement in space technology, it is now possible to employ remote sensing techniques for estimating surface and subsurface water over large areas. These methods are very useful for rapid groundwater mapping of large and inaccessible areas. This session highlights how remote sensing data and geospatial techniques can act as good sources and tools for providing data needed for protection of the ground water and also in planning to conserve them.

Sustainable Water Management for Agriculture

World-wide there is an enormous challenge to produce almost 50% more food up to 2030, and double production by 2050 (FAO, 2017). This critical challenge will have to be addressed using an even more critical resource; water. It is therefore vital that the agriculture sector be provided with tools and policies that increase water use efficiency and improve water management practices, especially as agricultural practices account for almost 70% of the world’s freshwater withdrawals. Such a scenario requires that all water managing agencies ensure that water resources are distributed efficiently and equitably, while keeping in mind environmental sustainability. Such practices include smart irrigation for adequate and efficient water supply, rain water harvesting for increasing water supply, flood and drought management and ecosystem conservation.

This session will explore how geospatial technology promotes intelligent planning and informed decision making to aid best practices in water use for the agriculture sector.

Smart Water Systems

Technologies, plans and investments that encourage robust management of water resources are the most cost-effective way of ensuring resilience to longer term climate change. Improved and enhanced water management can be of great value to many sectors, such as, health, energy, agriculture and environment. It also contributes to development goals of climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction, especially to disasters related to floods and droughts. Geo-IT applications and tools sustain smart water management, which is key to turning water systems into intelligent integrated networks.

In this session we will focus on the future of smart systems through new technology and how this can aid our asset management and information systems. We will also discuss the impact smart technologies have on data management operations and how we can harness these new technologies to meet our future goals of ensuring water security and developing a climate resilient water system.

Sustainable Water Infrastructure

Water infrastructure is a term for systems used in water supply, treatment, storage, water resource management and disaster management (flooding). It is imperative that water infrastructure keep up with populations rise, climate change and increasing water shortage. In addition to building new infrastructure we must also look at maintaining and replacing the ageing water infrastructure that exists currently.

This session will focus on infrastructure systems that can be used to transport water, help with urban heat islands, act as storage for rainwater, keep buildings cool, desalinate sea water, treat waste water, provide potable water across the country and purify water resulting in cleaner water flowing to rivers, streams, canals, lakes and ponds and capture rainwater for onsite use.

Target Audience
  • Ministries of Urban and Rural Development
  • Ministry of Water Resources
  • Regional Water Resources Organizations
  • Research Organizations and Academia
  • Industrial Players
  • Scientists
  • Policy Makers
  • Data Providers
  • Consultants
  • Construction agencies