|Description||Water resources development is not an end by itself: it is means to an end. The end is to alleviate poverty, improve quality of life and to maintain the integrity of the environment and the ecosystems. Properly planned and managed water projects can also successfully reduce regional disparities and contribute to significant improvements in social well-being.|
Following the World Water Forum in the Hague, the Netherlands, the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd. is sponsoring a major International Conference on Water Development for Poverty Alleviation in Ahmedabad, India, 29-31 January 2020, with the co-sponsorship of the Third World Centre for Water Management, International Water Resources Association, World Water Council, Global Water Partnership and International Commission on Irrigation of Drainage.
Some of the world?s leading international authorities have already agreed to give Plenary Lectures. Among them are Prof. Walid Abderrahman, Head of the Water Division of King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia; Prof. Asit K Biswas, Member of World Commission on Water, Prof. Benedito P.F. Braga, President of International Water Resources Association (IWRA), Prof. John Pigram, President-Elect of IWRA, Dr. Ismail Serageldin, Vice-President, World Bank and Chairman World Commission on Water: Dr. Cecilia Tortajada, Vice-President of Third World Centre for Water Management, and Dr. Olcay Unver, President, Southeastern Anatolia Project Turkey. Confirmation of participation of several other very distinguished international experts are expected shortly. Never before, in the entire history of water management, has such an important conference been held on the critical issue of how water development can contribute to poverty alleviation.
Papers are being invited for presentation at the Conference. Abstracts (3 pages of double-spaced printing) should be sent by mail, fax or e-mail so as to reach the Conference Secretariat no lather than 15th August 2000. Following peer review, authors will be informed of the status of acceptance of their papers by 15th September 2000. It is expected that the best papers presented will be published as a book by the Oxford University Press.
For further information, please contact Prof. Asit K. Biswas, President, Third World Centre for Water Management, Mexico City, and Chairman, IWRA Committee on International Collaboration, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, and fax: 52-5-2019439.
|Topic(s)/Agenda(s) ||THEMES FOR THE CONFERENCE|
Main Theme : Water resources development for poverty alleviation, improving quality of life and environmental conservation.
Water resources development is not an end by itself: it is means to an end. The end is to alleviate poverty, improve quality of life and to maintain the integrity of the environment and the ecosystems. Within this overall context, the papers for the Conference could focus on conceptual and methodological approaches, experiences on appropriate issues from different parts of the world, state of the art analyses, new and innovative approaches used and the results thereof, and case studies. Papers on multi-disciplinary, multi-sectoral and integrative approaches would be specially welcomed.
Sub-themes : 1.Roles of water development in poverty alleviation through increasing food production, electricity generation, industrial development, employment creation and flood control.
Historically water development has played an important role in poverty alleviation through increasing production of food and energy, fostering industrial development through a variety of pathways, generating new employment opportunities and mitigating the impacts of recurring floods and droughts. As the populations of the developing countries continue to increase in the coming decades, water management practices should become increasingly more efficient and equitable to meet simultaneously present and future human and ecosystem needs. How all these needs and requirements can be balanced within the concept of sustainable water development, in terms of both quantity and quality, will be a major challenge of the future.
2. Water development to improve quality of life through provision of reliable supply of drinking water to urban and rural areas and proper wastewater management.
Water is a fundamental requirement for sustaining human lives, but still hundreds of millions of people in developing countries do not have access to adequate quantities of safe water on a reliable basis. Increased and unplanned urbanisation is contributing to serious water problems for the urban poor. Rural water supply and sanitation continues to remain a serious issue. Sanitation and wastewater treatment are even bigger challenges. Currently, it is estimated that less than 10 percent of wastewater generated in the developing world is properly treated. As human populations and activities increase, the problem is likely to become even more serious, unless determined efforts are made to resolve them. How can these problems be resolved in a timely and cost-effective manner?
3. Water development to stimulate sustainable regional growth, including improving health, educational and infrastructural facilities.
Efficient and integrated water resources development can stimulate sustainable regional growth. Recent experiences from many parts of the world, especially from the Southeast Anatolia Project in Turkey, indicate that properly planned and executed water projects can very successfully act as engines for sustainable regional development. These developments can significantly contribute to poverty alleviation and improve the quality of life of people living in geographically disadvantaged areas. How can water projects be properly planned and managed so as to significantly enhance not only the traditional outputs like provision of drinking water, increases in agricultural production and electricity generation, but also improve educational, health transportation, communication facilities and ensure environmental preservation?
4. Planning and management of water resources to enhance environmental quality, equity and empowerment of women.
Water resources development projects should be planned in such a way that positive environmental benefits are maximised and negative impacts are minimised. Similarly, equity considerations and empowerment of women are important factors, which should be integral components of development activities. Accordingly, environmental and social impact assessments are essential requirements. Are these assessment activities, as they are being currently carried out in different parts of the world adequate? If not, what changes are necessary? How can we ensure that the recommendations of environmental and social impact assessments can be properly implemented and monitored?
5. Roles of public and private sectors, including privatisation.
Public sector has historically been primarily responsible for water development and management activities. In recent years, for a variety of reasons, private sector is playing an increasingly important role in the areas of water supply and wastewater treatment, construction of major dams on build, operate and transfer basis, and specific activities like leak detection, infrastructure construction and maintenance, billing and bill collection, etc. Private sector investments in the water sector have been increasing exponentially during the past decade, and current trends indicate that it is likely to expand significantly in the future. What are likely to be roles of public and private sectors in the future? What are the strengths and weaknesses of these two sectors? What type of public-private partnerships can be envisioned for the future? How can we ensure that increasing private sector involvement does not have detrimental impacts on the poor in terms of water availability?
6. Water pricing, water rights and participatory irrigation management.
Water pricing, water rights and participatory water management have increasingly become important requirements for efficient water management in recent years. Has water pricing improved water services, including those received by the poor? Can water rights and markets in water rights be properly established in developing countries? What have been the global experiences in water pricing, water rights and participatory water management in different parts of the world? What roles water pricing, water rights and participatory water management can play in the future?
7. Legal, institutional and policy aspects.
Efficient water management not only requires considerations of technical, economic, social and environmental factors but also availability of enabling legal, institutional and policy frameworks within which the management processes are to be carried out. These frameworks should be developed specifically for countries concerned, including considerations of their social, economic and cultural conditions, implementation capabilities, expertise available, etc. Legal, institutional and policy issues associated with efficient water management in terms of poverty alleviation will be considered under this sub-theme.
8. Capacity building, including education, and training.
Efficient water resources management, with special focus on poverty alleviation and gender considerations, will in probability require extensive capacity building in public, private and NGO sectors. Capacity building will be necessary at all levels, since water management practices in the coming years are likely to become increasingly more and more complex. Because of rapidly changing conditions, how can capacity building requirements for the future at national and state levels, can be realistically assessed? How can educational and training programmes at different levels be reorganised to meet the changing water management requirements?
9. Case studies on appropriate projects and/or issues.
Case studies on the main theme and all sub-themes are likely to be one of main focus of the Conference. All the case studies should be objective, and discuss what aspects of the project have worked well, and which aspects have failed to perform adequately. The reasons for the successes and failures should be analysed. Lessons learnt and experiences obtained from each case study should be clearly outlined.
10. Knowledge and technology transfer between developing countries.
Knowledge and technology transfer between developing countries are now conspicuous because of their absence, even though major water development projects during the past two decades have been mostly carried out in developing countries only. Because economic, institutional and social conditions are often more similar between various developing countries (in contrast to between developed and developing countries), knowledge and technology transfer between developing countries should be actively encouraged. New and innovative approaches to water management that are currently being pursued in different developing countries need to be identified and analysed. Papers on new and innovative approaches and best practices from different parts of the world would be especially appropriate for the Conference.