Ambuja Cement, Hindustan Unilever, Ultratech bag Water Awards

Presenting the Water Awards and Launching the CII’s latest water tool WatSmart, Amitabh Kant, Chief Executive Officer, NITI Aayog said that water will be the top priority for governance

Ambuja Cement, Hindustan Unilever, Ultratech bag Water Awards

Ambuja Cement Foundation, Hindustan Unilever Foundation and Ultratech Cement Limited bagged CII’s National Water Awards for Excellence in Water Management. The Awards were presented at the 3rd Water Innovation Summit 2017 organised by industry body Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) by National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog chief executive officer, Amitabh Kant at on Tuesday.  

For exemplary and innovative work undertaken in the field of Water Management, Ambuja Cement Foundation, Hindustan Unilever Foundation and Ultratech Cement Limited were adjudged as the winners in ‘Beyond the Fence’ Category. Toyota Kirloskar, Tata Steel, Jamshedpur, GMR Warora Energy Limited, Renault Nissan Automotive India Private Limited., UFLEX Limited – Chemicals Division, Tamil Nadu Newsprint and Papers Limited., Asian Paints Ltd. Khandala plant, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. Igatpuri and Grasim Industries Ltd. (Chemical Division) were adjudged as winners in “Within the fence” category.

The CEO also launched WatSmart, a CII water tool to assess and rank industries’ plant performance on water efficiency, sustainability and good governance, suggested various ways to improve water management.

He said that “India’s way forward” may include sustainable ground water usage, supply augmentation, water usage efficiency in the agricultural sector and a better management in industrial sector.

Kant expressed concerns about depleting water levels in the country, cautioning governments that failure to protect water resources could throw them out of power.

“People need water. And in areas where they are not able to get water, they will throw governments out,” said Kant, adding that water would assume “priority” in the future, rather than industries or agriculture.

A contrasting picture of India, where one state suffers from flooding due to torrential rains while others suffers from drought, poses serious questions about India’s preparedness on water resource management. A total of 330 million people in India faced water scarcity in 2016, spread across 300 districts in 13 states.

Kant said that it was important for private sector to bring out effective solution for water management along with the government’s effort to “achieve economic growth in sustainable manner”.

Highlighting NITI Aayog’s steps towards water management, Kant said that India needs to adopt “futuristic and innovative” methods to protect water sensitive areas like Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Aravalis and Haryana among many others.

“NITI Aayog prepared a comparative, composite water index across sectors which will rank states in management of water resources, looking at all aspects of water,” he said.

Speaking at the Water Innovation Summit, Karlene Maywald, Former Minister & Chair, National Water Commission, and International Adviser, South Australian Government shared how her government had to take rigorous policy decisions to spearhead the concept of water management in Australia. She emphasised that technology is vital in water conservation efforts in India and also expressed her interest in extending the application of the same tool to Australia.

In his video message, Suresh Prabhu, Hon’ble Minister for Commerce and Industry stressed on the need to explore water conservation measures like reuse of treated water and changing cropping patterns. 

Shobhana Kamineni, President, CII stressed that 1.8 billion people would be affected by water crisis globally by 2025, with a considerable population from India included. Kamineni stressed that being water smart was the way forward for doing sustainable business.

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