National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR) hosted the 2nd International Conference on Water and Wastewater at its NIRDPR campus on 19 and 20 February 2020.
The Institute invited more than 30 delegates from the U.S., Germany, Sweden, and Thailand to participate in this conference besides an equal number of Indian delegates from Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (RD&PR), Swachh Bharat Mission – Garmin (SBM-G), and State Institute of Rural Development (SIRDs) from various States.
Delivering the inaugural address, Dr. WR Reddy IAS, Director General, NIRDPR, said, “Today, when I take notice of the myriad technologies and models that help address a single problem, what is perplexing is not the solution to a given problem – be it solid waste or wastewater, but about the ingenuity required to ‘choose from among the countless alternative solutions presented to us, bearing in view the common denominator: contextual suitability and global sustainability.”
Addressing the meeting, Ms. Radhika Rastogi IAS, Deputy Director-General, NIRDPR, said, “Technologies to address the issue of waste generation is only part of the story as when it comes to the question of ‘responsible well-being,’ we have many discomforting questions but no ‘comforting answers’. Behavioural change is imperative, apart from what technology can do for us.”
The conference covered a range of topics, including:
- Groundwater Bank – A Scenario Implemented in Thailand
- Water from air – A fantasy or exciting frontier to help address the global water crisis
- Decentralised Wastewater Systems (DEWATS) and Constructed Wetlands from India
- Zero Waste – Hierarchy of Highest and Best Use
- Case Studies in Wastewater Reclamation and Reuse Technologies
- Advancing Sustainability through Recycling Resource value of Residuals at Wastewater Treatment Plants
The International Conference took place at a most appropriate time in India, when the Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin has taken on the direction of managing solid waste and wastewater issues in rural as well as urban areas. Thus, the deliberations and outcome of this International Conference are expected to throw open the expertise, technologies, innovations, and opportunities available in this sector.
Highlighting the unique aspect of the conference, Dr. R. Ramesh, Associate Professor, and Head In-Charge, Centre for Rural Infrastructure, NIRDPR, said, “This conference contributed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)-3,6,11,12 and 17, which are about sustainable communities, health and well-being, and global partnerships.”
The conference was planned in continuation of the 1st International Conference on Water and Wastewater conducted last year in 2019, by a team of wastewater professionals from the US.