The Coalition for Water Security, launched the first quarterly symposium at the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board, Bengaluru on Saturday 15th June 2019.
Welcoming the gathering, Sandeep Anirudhan said, “The idea of the day long symposium is an engagement space to bring together stakeholders, share insights, to arrive at a citizens’s agenda on issues of water security. And in this process, we hope to establish a sustained policy dialogue, call to action, and engaged activity towards a sustainable water situation and policy”
Inaugurating the symposium, Mr. Manoj Kumar, IFS, Member Secretary, Karnataka State Pollution Control Board, said “Disconnect ails Water Security”, and shared his story of working as an IFS officer and emphasised on the importance of connecting the dots. He also stressed, “Whenever talking about water security, it is important to go beyond your city” . He said for any problem, solution lies within, one has to just look inside.
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Dr. Sharadchandra Lele, Distinguished Fellow in Environmental Policy & Governance Centre for Environment & Development, Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE) presented on the need for integrated approach to urban water management. Sharing excerpts from the “Karnataka State Water Policy, commissioned by the Karnataka Knowledge Commission ( Karnataka Jnana Aayoga or KJA), Dr Lele said, “Any water policy is aspirational and as such while it sets directions, it is important to look at principles and strategies, by sector and across sectors. He spoke about normative concerns – a) Water for life and Livelihoods from adequacy and affordability perspective, b) Water for other living beings and cultural values c) Public and Ecosystem Health ( from those who consume water and from ecosystem into which effluents are released) d) Sustainability and Resilience ( From a ground water sustainability, financial sustainability, green house gas footprint, and resilience to drought) e) Equity and Fairness ( He explained that given that water is cyclic resource, it is important to look at how appropriation upstream affects downstream and so we must look at equal access to all domestic users, inclusion of social justice provisions, fairness to source catchments and fairness to downstream users) f) Democracy and Participatory Governance.
He also stated the need to recognise the socio-hydrological reality – Freshwater is a finite, annually replenished and is a common pool resource. It is connected – Surface water and ground water! Karnataka has a high variable and seasonal water availability. Socio- economic difference exists ( Social disparities, social exclusion based on caste and gender) . And so there is a need for a paradigm shift – to re -look at principles that we adopt
In conclusion he says, integration must be looked at from multiple perspectives
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Other Speakers speech can be found here:
Active Bengaluru -How To Lobby For The Right Laws By Kathyayini Chamaraj
Active Bengaluru -Our Laws And Water By Mr Nagesh Aras
Active Bengaluru -The Idea Of A Model Water Community By Mr Avinash Krishnamurthy
Active Bengaluru – A Lake Rejuvenation Guide By Dr Shobha Anand
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