The 7th International Ground Water Conference (IGWC-2017) was hosted by India in New Delhi from December 11 to 13, 2017. The theme of conference was “Ground water Vision 2030- Water Security, Challenges and Climate Change Adaptation”.
The conference was organized by National Institute of Hydrology (NIH), Roorkee and Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) under aegis of Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation. The delegates from 15 countries participated in the conference and 250 research papers were presented, including 32 Keynote papers.
The conference took stock of present status and challenges of Groundwater management in the country under the changing water use and climatic scenarios. It took place at time when water scenario in India, especially the ground water scenario, is getting worse day by day.
The conference discussed these burning issues in 10 focal themes spread. It looked into synergistic policy options between various sectors linked with water resources in country and drawed roadmap to address these challenges for sustainable development goals of 2030.
Depleting groundwater in India
During the past decades, groundwater usage in India has grown many folds and at present 80% of rural domestic needs and 65% of irrigation water requirement and 50% of industrial and urban water needs are sourced from scarce ground water resources.
Over exploitation of ground water has started threatening sustenance of agricultural activities in many key regions in country including Punjab, Rajasthan and Bundelkhand region of central India. It is posing grave threat to food security in future.
Moreover, climate change is further expected to alter ground water recharge regimes across country due to increase in extreme rainfall events. Over exploitation of ground water has also started affecting ground water quality in many areas from geogenic contaminants such as arsenic.