WATER is a critical resource and 'WATER SECURITY' is a necessary criterion for a country's sustainable growth. India has enough water resources but its skewed distribution in terms of geographical and seasonal spread combined with adverse impact of climate change and management has pushed towards water stress regime.
It is necessary, at least now to treat WATER as a valuable resource and adopt measures for efficient management for achieving net societal benefit. In India, the water use efficiency is very poor compared to most of the countries; be it agriculture, industry or domestic activities. Government of India is fully aware of the fact and has been striving hard to evolve an implementable solution through its various ministries. With awareness spreading on the impact of water quality on health, the domestic consumer requires quality at the point of consumption. Stringent pollution control measures and the ever increasing cost of water have driven industries to acquire not only captive sources but also ways and means of recovering water and valuables from spent streams. Industries have also realised that captive desalination/water recovery plants can be an asset in terms of water security and economics; as they can use their spent resources such as waste heat or cooling water return or spent aqueous streams at zero cost for producing required quality of water.
Utilisation of non-conventional energy sources for desalination and water purification are also gaining acceptance. Experience has shown that the solutions have to be geographically distinct and appropriate besides linking the 'quality-use concept' for water. Sustained efforts by research institutions and industries supported by government have resulted in innovative philosophy of water management wherein value is added both in terms of recovered water, savings in pollution cess and recovery of valuables. A number of new technologies and management philosophies have evolved over the last few years. At this juncture, it is felt appropriate to hold a conference to share the developments, analyse the challenges ahead and evolve a synergistic approach towards attaining water security.