About the Conference

India has the second largest population in the world, amounting to 16% of the human race. However, the natural water resources do not have the capacity to supply adequate water to the growing needs of the populace. The scarcity of water is felt by industrial, agricultural, and even in the domestic sector.

In India, agriculture consumes the largest quantity of water. The industrial and residential segments account for the rest of water consumption. India’s exploitable renewable fresh water resources are estimated at ~1,100-1,200 bcm. While the total water resource availability remains constant, water demand has grown steeply due to steady growth in population, increasing urbanization, changing lifestyles, and economic growth.

Poor natural resource management practices have also contributed to scarcity of water in India. Rapid industrialization and urbanization are other reasons why the water resources are incapable of supplying enough water to meet the needs. The per capita water availability in India according to the year 2011 census was 1545 cubic meter. This is a serious decline from the year 2001 census, where the per capita water availability according to the population count was 1816 m³.

Harnessing water suitable for the needs of various industries such as petrochemicals, steel industry, oil and gas, power generation, municipal supply, mining, and chemical and consumer goods requires an infrastructure that promises a steady supply, efficient equipment, and the reuse of resources. Producing potable water to meet the demands of an increasing urban population is getting increasingly difficult.

Infrastructure development and regulations have not kept pace with population growth and urbanization and as a result wastewater management has become a major challenge. Government has made significant efforts to reduce surface water pollution but they remain jeopardised by the lack of wastewater treatment. An estimated 160 million latrines and septic tanks contribute to 80% of the pollution of the national surface waters.
The reliability, financial sustainability and affordability of water supply and wastewater treatment services need urgent improvement. It is important that key steps are taken by various stakeholders to improve the situation.

According to a recent report released by Frost and Sullivan, the global water market is worth $425 billion and divided into two distinct segments. Water and wastewater utilities comprise 58 per cent of the market, while water solutions and services take up the remaining 42 per cent. The water treatment and process industry has undergone significant changes in the last few years. However, design and consulting activities have not kept pace with these developments. This gap is widened by factors like business complexity, lack of sector-specific talent and expertise, cost-plus mentality, and other traditional business practices. The industry faces several challenges in finding expertise, locating niche consulting, engineering the infrastructure, and various market pressures that need to be bridged in the next few years.

Although affordable solutions are in principle available to close the projected water supply demand gaps for most regions, institutional barriers, lack of awareness and misaligned incentives may stand in the way of implementation, across both the private and public sectors. Overcoming these barriers will entail persistent action and, in many cases, a transformational approach to be adopted together by the Government, business community and the civil society.

The participation of stakeholders is needed in order to: break ‘silos' between different sectors and activities; reach a common understanding and vision of challenges and activities; understand and balance interests and needs of different stakeholders; strengthen cooperation, sustainability and ownership; and induce behavior change and realistic demand management.

In this context, the conference has been exclusively designed to bring focus, exchange thoughts and ideas and showcase trends and technologies to sustain and improve water resources and their efficient and effective management in general, keeping in mind the industry's key objectives: Manufacturing quality products, reducing costs, improving their plant's environmental record and maintaining good labor relations on production sites.

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