Governance Framework for Harmonizing Water-Energy Usage

21 September, 2016, Hotel Taj Mahal, Mansingh Road, New Delhi

About the event  | Programme

Water and Energy are the two most important resources on which sustenance of life and economic development of the country largely depends. India, with population of over 1.2 billion and the GDP growing at a rate of 8% per annum, the demand for two key resources - water and energy, are rapidly increasing. As the economy develops further, both these resource are likely to face increased stress.  
India being a large country has geographical diversity. While Northern India has perennial water supply due to Ganga basin, the Central regions in India are parched, rainfed and face severe drought conditions. Successful examples have been set by Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) which first interlinked the rivers in north western region to ensure availability of water in drought prone areas of India’s Punjab after independence.  This had once brought in green revolution in the State, and Punjab had emerged as the food basket for the nation.  Likewise during Shri Narendra Modi’s tenure as CM Gujarat, Narmada water was directed to Saurashtra region to replenish ground water table in the completely parched regions of Gujarat, setting yet another example of ensuring availability of water for irrigation throughout the year in the most drought prone area of the State. The State of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana are currently facing extreme shortage of water. Vidarbha region has witnessed large number of farmer suicides. Cauveri river water is under dispute leading to state wised clashes.
Water is though national priority, however there is huge amount of water is consumed in the thermal power plants. On the other hand large amount of energy in pumping water, is lost due to operation inefficiency of pumps. Technology intervention is required for optimizing usage of both water and energy - efficient pumping solutions, efficient ground water based irrigation, recycling and conservation of water (watershed development, waste water treatment, desalination and conditioning) and rainwater harvesting).
Another angle to India’s geographical diversity is abundance of Power and Water in some states e.g. West Bengal. In West Bengal Pumped Storage Technology was used which has its inherent advantages of quick on/off response of turbine, quick response to generation variability to stabilise grid and is the best mechanism to help integrate intermittent energy resources with system in order to help improve grid efficiency. West Bengal used this technology, to lift water to the upper reservoir by pumping mechanism through extra electricity during off-peak time. The stored potential energy in the upper reservoir was then used to generate electricity by turbines when they are needed. The State therefore, used perennial flow of rivers to its advantage, to achieve energy security in the state.
ASSOCHAM deliberated on various related issues and planned this Conference to submit its recommendations for Harmonization of Water- Energy Usage.
Objective of the Conference
To provide comprehensive suggestions for harmonization of water-energy usage through interlinking of rivers ensuring availability of water in drought prone and rainfed regions, energy efficient practices, explore distributed power generation for energy security and conservation and optimizing water usage.