The Roorkee Water Conclave, 2024 aims to establish a common understanding of circular economy principles and resilience in the water sector and to support countries in implementing those principles. We strive to assimilate the learnings from different disciplines that cover various facets of Sustainable Water Management and Circular Economy. The conference also aims to accelerate interaction among various stakeholders. Looking to the aforementioned aspects, the sub-themes of the conference are as follows:

Abstracts of papers (not exceeding 150 words) on the above session themes of the Conference are invited latest by 30th October 2023 and the acceptance will be notified by 15th November 2023. The abstract of the papers can be uploaded here.

A. Water Governance and Education

  • Prof. Manoj Jain,Coordinator (IITR) Email:
  • Dr. Anupama Sharma,Coordinator (NIH) Email:
Water Governance focuses on water-related decision-making to develop and support continuing transformations towards water sustainability and water-based ecosystems. Water governance facilitates developing and managing water resources and services at all spatial and temporal scales. Sustainable water systems function optimally in the context of evolving human and natural landscapes to capitalise on water availability at short time scales and to balance water demand and ecosystem services over long time scales. Education on the best science and predictive models and participatory water governance is the key to evolving the water-related decision-making process. This session aims to discuss participatory water governance, predictive modelling for developing and managing water resources at all spatial and temporal scales, water governance policies and frameworks, data, and education needs for better governance of water resources for water sustainability and water-based ecosystems.

B. Circular Water Economy

  • Prof. ML Kansal,Coordinator (IITR) Email:
  • Er. Omkar Singh,Coordinator (NIH) Email:
With the ever-increasing population, the demand for limited freshwater resources is increasing globally. Moreover, ~80% of water supplied to urban areas is released back to the environment as wastewater. Pollution, over-extraction, and climate change further exert pressure on the limited freshwater resources. For example, India is among the most water-stressed country in the world with 18% of the world’ population and only 4% of the water resources. Low per capita water availability, rising water demand and huge gap between wastewater generation and treatment necessitate the transition from a linear economy (take, make, consume and waste) to the circular economy (reduce, reuse, and recycle) pathway.

The increasing demand for water, coupled with the impact of climate change, has made water scarcity a global issue that affects the economic, social, and environmental sustainability of many regions and communities. The Circular Economy (CE) approach minimizes the resource input and waste by closing the material and energy loop while keeping the water at the highest utility and value all the time. The concept is based on the idea that water is a finite and essential resource that needs to be managed sustainably.
Traditional water management approaches have often relied on a linear model of water use. However, this model is no longer sustainable given the increasing pressure on water resources and the negative environmental impacts of wasteful water use. The circular water economy also seeks to promote water-efficient practices and technologies that reduce water use in various sectors such as agriculture, industry, and households.

The circular water economy approach can contribute to the achievement of several of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation), SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure), SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), and SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production). Further, the subareas of CWE include:

  • Circular water economy: concepts, principles, and practices
  • Sustainable water management for resilient cities
  • Innovative water technologies for circular economy
  • Circular water economy and the UN Sustainable Development Goals
  • Water scarcity and its impact on circular water economy
  • Circular water economy for agriculture and food security
  • Wastewater treatment and reuse in circular water economy
  • Water efficiency in industrial processes for circular water economy
  • Financing the circular water economy: public-private partnerships and investments
  • Circular water economy and climate change adaptation

C. Smart Water Management

  • Prof. Ashish Pandey,Coordinator (IITR) Email:
  • Dr. Suhas Khobragade,Coordinator (NIH) Email:
Smart water management is an innovative approach that utilizes advanced technology, data analytics, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices to optimize water resources, distribution, and consumption and improve the efficiency of water systems. This approach can help address the growing challenges related to water scarcity, climate change, and urbanization. As water scarcity becomes an increasingly pressing global issue, smart water management offers a sustainable solution by improving efficiency, reducing waste, and promoting responsible usage. One key aspect of smart water management is the use of sensors and monitoring systems to collect real-time data on water quality, flow rates, and other relevant parameters. This data can then be analyzed to identify patterns and trends, which can inform decisions about how to allocate and manage water resources more effectively. Another important component of smart water management is the use of predictive modeling and optimization algorithms to forecast water demand, identify potential supply shortages or system failures, and develop strategies for mitigating these risks. Overall, smart water management holds great promise for improving the sustainability and resilience of water systems, while also reducing costs and enhancing public health and safety. However, it will require collaboration and investment from a range of stakeholders, including water utilities, technology providers, and policymakers, to realize its full potential.

The key components of smart water management are (i). Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) (ii). Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) (iii) Internet of Things (IoT) devices and sensors (iv). Predictive Analytics (iv). User Engagement. Smart water management enables efficient allocation and distribution of water resources, ensuring that the demand is met without straining the supply. It also reduces water waste, improves infrastructure, and optimizes operations, smart water management can lead to significant cost savings for utilities and consumers. This is also convenient for monitoring and controlling water quality in real-time helping to prevent contamination and protect public health. By promoting responsible water consumption, reducing waste, and minimizing the environmental impact of water infrastructure, smart water management contributes to long-term environmental sustainability. Thus, Smart water management offers a comprehensive approach to addressing global water challenges. By leveraging advanced technology and data-driven insights, this innovative strategy can significantly improve the efficiency, sustainability, and resilience of water systems. As the world's population continues to grow and climate change exacerbates water scarcity, embracing smart water management is crucial for ensuring a secure and sustainable water future.

D. Non-conventional Water Resources

  • Prof. AA Kazmi,Coordinator (IITR) Email:
  • Dr. AR Senthil Kumar,Coordinator (NIH) Email:
Growth in population and industrialization put pressure on conventional water resources: rainfall, snowfall, river runoff and groundwater. The demand-supply gap in water scarce area specially arid and semi-arid region is increasing because of the changing precipitation pattern and reduction in fresh water availability due to over exploitation. The climate change effect on conventional water resources has further aggravated the demand-supply gap in the water scarce area and affect sustainable development of the region and could accelerate migration pattern. Non-conventional water resources should be properly tapped to reduce the demand-supply gap which in turn enhance the sustainable development.The multitude of non-conventional water resources include harvesting water from atmosphere by cloud seeding and fog water collection, capturing water from precipitation at micro scale which otherwise evaporate, groundwater in deep onshore and offshore geological formations, water from municipal wastewater and storm water, return flow from agricultural field, ballast water held in tanks and cargo holds, icebergs collected from Arctic and Antarctic regions, desalinated seawater and brackish groundwater.

The volume of available resource is enormous from seawater when compared to the other sources such as municipal wastewater, deep ground water, atmospheric water and icebergs in Arctic and Antarctic region. Even a minor fraction of non-conventional water extracted from the available sources by developing cost effective technology can help in reducing the water scarcity in dry area. Many examples of growing non-conventional water use are underway around the world and its implementation number is less compared to the requirement. The recurring water scarcity in dry area and declining water table due to overexploitation urge to develop and follow strategies to harness the potential of non-conventional water resources considering the barriers. The main components of the strategies are assessment of augmenting potential of non-conventional water resources with exiting water supply, making non-conventional water resources as priority in political agendas, policies and management of water resources, analyzing cost effectiveness of implementation of non-conventional water schemes, capacity building of human resources to assess and utilize the non-conventional water resources, encouraging the private sector participation in the development of non-conventional water resources, engaging the communities to increase the local intervention and support of increased scientific funding to understand and develop modern technologies to harness the non-conventional water resources. Development of non-conventional water resources is essential and at utmost important to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 by 2030.

E. Rejuvenation of Natural Water Systems

  • Prof. Sumit Sen,Coordinator (IITR) Email:
  • Dr. RP Pandey,Coordinator (NIH) Email:
Water is one of the essential resources for life on earth. But, with the ever-increasing population, the demand for water, food, and other basic needs is also increasing. In order to keep up with these demands, the human race is depleting water resources at an alarming rate for the sake of water supply, industrialization, and agricultural activities. The increasing natural resource deterioration (quality and quantity) and uncertainty due to climate change would further stress already scarce water resources. Water pollution in developing nations is primarily caused by untreated sewage and effluents entering the water system. People, particularly in rural areas of developing nations, use contaminated water from public wells, lakes, and ponds for their regular needs. As a result, grave health issues arise. The majority of water bodies in the universe, according to the World Commission on Water for the 21st Century, are so contaminated that they could harm both human health and the ecosystem. Agricultural water demand in the future will increase even more to meet the food demand, but now, with a 33.9% groundwater depletion rate, India is already at the top of the list of global groundwater depletion. Overdrawing of surface and groundwater for domestic, industrial, and agricultural use seriously impairs a river's capacity to self-purify and recharge. Now that we have established that water available for use is depleting both in terms of quality and quantity, there’s a grave need to rejuvenate natural water systems for the ecosystems’ sustenance in the future. Water resources systems are complex systems.

Hence the design and development of sustainable management strategies demand frameworks that integrate technical, economic, environmental, legal, and social concerns. Hence, this session aims to discuss frameworks (monitoring & modelling), strategies, and case studies for the rejuvenation of water resources systems, for example, bio-remediation, sedimentation basin, green bridge, rainwater harvesting, wetland restoration, and riparian zone restoration. Contributions may also address past, present and future changes in water resources systems due to changes in either climate and/or land use, how these changes affect dependent communities, and/or adaptation strategies (like afforestation, flood plain management, public awareness) to ensure the long-term sustainability of water resources systems like maintaining water quality standards, environmental flows, etc.

F. Water Resource Assessment and Modelling

  • Prof. Deepak Khare (IITR)
  • Dr. MK Goel,Coordinator (NIH) Email:
Names of experts for the theme is suggested as
  1. Prof. A. K. Gosain, IIT-Delhi
  2. Prof. A. K. Keshari, IIT-Delhi
Freshwater is crucial to man’s existence, affecting all human life. Human need for freshwater resource includes basic uses such as drinking and sanitation for good health and combating disease; assisting in the production of food and goods; providing a foundation for cultural services such as community connectivity, spirituality, and recreation; and supporting the ecosystems upon which humans rely.

An assessment of available water resources in a region is the basic requirement for its optimal planning and management. The term “Water Resources Assessment” refers to the “determination of the sources, extent, dependability, and quality of water resources for their utilization and control”. Several estimates of water resources of India have been made by various organisations and researchers. Keeping in view the advances in hydrologic modelling, availability of global data sets, satellite data products and the improved knowledge on estimation of hydrologic variables (such as evapotranspiration, soil moisture and base flow contribution) across a range of spatial and temporal scales, a standardized procedure is necessary for water resources assessment. A Framework for Water Resources Assessment in India (Mujumdar et al., 2017) has been described by a committee of multi-institutional experts. Recently, Central Water Commission (CWC), Delhi in collaboration with National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), Hyderabad has carried out the assessment of water resources of India for all river basins using space inputs. Presently, it is planned to revise such assessments at an interval of 5 years.

Despite the importance of water, freshwater resources are on the decline which may lead to problems with food production, human health, and economic development. Due to the complexity of the hydrologic cycle and its interaction with socio-economic and ecological systems in a basin, it is important to use numerical models so as to assist managers in understanding risks and developing water management alternatives before implementation. Hydrological models can be used as a powerful tool to understand the water systems, organize data, predict future conditions, and communicate the information with stakeholders. Water resources software, such as hydrologic, hydraulic, hydro-geologic, and water quality simulation and optimization models provide means to quantitatively test and evaluate the concepts and management strategies addressing various water resource issues in a river basin. Hydrological models can support water resource management by illustrating the fundamental functions and operations of systems, their limitations, identifying optimal design parameters, providing tools to the water managers for testing design, operation policy, and management strategies, and for communicating the results for better understating of water managers, interested stakeholders, and the general public.

G.Water Quality and Human Health

  • Prof. Brijesh K. Yadav,Coordinator (IITR) Email:
  • Dr. MK Sharma,Coordinator (NIH) Email:
Water is not only essential to life but intimately interwoven with the quality of life across the globe. Access to enough clean water is crucial every day for every person. Changes in the quality, quantity and natural cycles of water and water systems have far-reaching impacts on all aspects of human life. As the human population continues to grow and the global clean water supply is reduced by consumption, contamination and climate change, water issues will only increase in complexity and importance. According to a recent report by WHO, around 800 million people globally still lack even basic access to safe drinking water. Another study stated that poor drinking water quality is responsible for more than 50 different diseases, 20 of which kill 50% of children every year. Poor water quality can have severe health consequences, particularly for vulnerable populations such as children, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems. Contaminants such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, and chemicals can enter the water supply through various sources, including sewage, agricultural runoff, industrial waste, and natural processes. These contaminants can cause a range of acute and chronic illnesses, including gastrointestinal illness, respiratory infections, skin irritation, neurological effects, and even cancer. Waterborne diseases are a significant public health concern, particularly in developing countries, where access to safe drinking water is limited. For example, cholera, a bacterial infection caused by contaminated water, can lead to dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and even death.

Typhoid fever, another waterborne disease, can lead to fever, headaches, and gastrointestinal symptoms. Globally, the most prevalent water quality problem is eutrophication, an excess of nutrients in water bodies, frequently due to runoff from land. Agricultural fertilizer and animal/livestock waste are the main contributors to this situation, which causes dense growth of plant life and death of animal life due to lack of oxygen. Eutrophication can lead to algal blooms, "red tides", "green tides", fish kills, inedible shellfish, and blue algae, substantially impairing use of water for drinking, food harvesting, cleaning, and recreation. The other major source of pollution is industrial waste containing a myriad of chemicals. In developing countries, around 70% of the industrial wastes are dumped untreated into waters, polluting the usable water supply. Most of the chemicals found in industrial waste have the potential of causing severe health problems including carcinogenicity and mutagenicity. Due to change in life style, the problem of emerging contaminants (ECs) got importance nowadays. The number of emerging contaminants widespread in the aquatic compartment is growing continuously arousing concern mainly because of potential risks for human health and the environment. Recent studies have identified a wide array of chemicals in surface and groundwater belonging to different classes, such as pharmaceuticals and hormones, illicit drugs, pesticides, personal care products, artificial sweeteners, perfluorinated compounds, disinfection by-products, UV filters and other industrial chemicals which have been detected in the ng/L–μg/L range. ECs may be a significant problem when surface and groundwater are used for drinking water production because the conventional drinking water treatments, like treatment with active carbon, flocculation, and disinfection, are not specifically designed to remove these micropollutants. The health and stability of an ecosystem depend primarily on its water quality. It has an impact on stream temperature, turbidity, and other water quality parameters. Monitoring of water quality can assist researchers in predicting and learning from natural processes in the environment, as well as determining human effects on an ecosystem. These measurements, which can be used to aid in restoration efforts or ensure that environmental standards are met, can also be useful. To achieve good water quality, it is essential to first identify the sources of pollution (urban runoff, agricultural run-off, wastewater discharge, industrial discharge, oil spills, etc.). The next step is to identify the type of contaminants (organics, inorganics, etc.) that are present and their potential impact on the soil-water and ecosystem. Monitoring of water quality is essential for the survival of ecosystem health and the well-being of the humans living in those areas. To identify the pollutants that are causing the problems and to devise strategies to reduce or eliminate them, it is critical to first identify the ones causing the problems. Based on the findings, strategies need to be developed to remove the pollutants from the environment. Improving water management, installing wastewater treatment facilities, and reducing emissions from the industry are all ways to reduce pollutants. In addition, public outreach and education can help to improve water quality. Public education is also critical in terms of informing the general public about the importance of water quality and what can be done to improve it. Thus, water quality management is critical to ensuring good human health. Advanced strategies are required to manage water quality effectively by preventing contamination, removing pollutants, and ensuring safe and clean water supplies. Effective management of water quality requires a comprehensive approach that involves monitoring and surveillance, source water protection, water treatment, public education and outreach, and regulatory policies. The problem of water pollution is a global problem that requires a global response. As a society, everybody has a responsibility to reduce the amount of pollution that enters the world’s waterways. There is also a need to invest in technologies that will help to better monitor and clean up polluted water sources. By working together, access to safe and clean drinking water can be ensured for everyone and the risk of waterborne diseases and illnesses can be reduced.

H. Advance Tools and Techniques

  • Prof. Sharad Kumar Jain,Coordinator (IITR) Email:
  • Dr. PC Nayak,Coordinator (NIH) Email:
Hydrology is an applied earth science. Hydrologic processes vary in space and time and for better and correct understanding of these processes and management, large quantity of data on a number of variables is needed. Traditionally, ground-based sensors/instruments are used to measure these variables but the area covered by such measurement networks is limited and there are logistics, timeliness, and data quality issues. Thus, there are growing needs to develop techniques that can provide data of hydrologic variables at desired granularity, even from remote places, and at desired times. At the same time, techniques to manage and analyze the data for improved understanding or better decisions are required. A number of advanced techniques are in use for these purposes, including remote sensing and geographical information systems, artificial intelligence /machine learning (AI/ML), decision support systems (DSSs), etc.

I.Climate Change and Adaptation Strategies

  • Prof. CSP Ojha,Coordinator (IITR) Email:
  • Dr. Surjeet Singh,Coordinator (NIH) Email:
According to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2013), the global average surface temperature has increased in the range of 0.65 – 1.06 oC per decade with an average rate of 0.85 oC for the period 1800 – 2012. According to the Assessment Report 5 (AR - 5) of the IPCC (2014), surface temperature will increase during the 21st century under all emission scenarios and will have profound impacts on agriculture, land and water resources, environment, ecosystems, and biodiversity. IPCC (2014) projects that increase in global mean surface temperature at the end of 21st century will be in the range of 0.3 – 1.7 oC (under scenario RCP 2.6), 1.1 – 2.6 oC (under scenario RCP 4.5), 1.4 – 3.1 oC (under scenario RCP 6.0), and 2.6 –4.8 oC (under scenario RCP 8.5) relative to 1986–2005 baseline period. The Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) has recently come up as the fundamental element in driving climate research globally by coordinating among various agencies for standardization of the design of GCMs and distribution of simulation models. In order to fulfil the needs of growing climate community and overcome the drawbacks in CMIP5, the new generation of CMIP6 framework has been introduced recently.

Adaptation can be understood as the process of adjusting to the current and future effects of climate change. It is one of the useful ways to respond to climate change, along with mitigation. For humans, adaptation aims to moderate or avoid harm, and exploit opportunities; for natural systems, humans may intervene to help adjustment. Adaptation actions can be either incremental or transformative. The need for adaptation varies from place to place, depending on the sensitivity and vulnerability of the area to environmental impacts.

J. Extreme Event

  • Prof. N.K Goel,Coordinator (IITR) Email:
  • Dr. Anil K Lohani,Coordinator (NIH) Email:
Extreme events, either in magnitude or impact, have become more frequent and severe in the context of global warming. Climate change has led to changes in temperature, precipitation patterns, sea level rise, and other factors that increase the likelihood of extreme weather events like floods, droughts, and heat waves. These events significantly impact water resources and the circular economy, including disruptions to water supply, reduced agricultural productivity, and damage to infrastructure. Water managers can develop more effective water allocation, conservation, and risk management strategies by understanding and predicting extreme events. For example, droughts can highlight the need for better water conservation practices, and floods can draw attention to the importance of maintaining natural water retention systems. Additionally, circular economy principles can help reduce the environmental impact of extreme events by promoting sustainable resource use and reducing waste generation.
The technical papers of the theme Extreme events may cover any of the following sub-topics but not limited to:
  1. Univeraite modelling of hydro-meteorological extremes like floods, droughts, wind speeds, temperatures, hot and dry spells
  2. Multivariate modelling of the individual extremes and the compound extremes
  3. Univariate and multivariate modelling under climate change
  4. Derived flood frequency distributions
  5. Modelling of extreme sediment loads in the streams and reservoirs
  6. Recent advances in PMP and PMF estimation
  7. Recent advances in the forecasting of extreme events
  8. Hydrologic design of hydraulic structures under LULC and climate changes
  9. Country-specific recent advances in the above fields
  10. Recommendations for immediate interventions needed.