GRIPP launched at the South Asia Groundwater Forum

Jaipur, India, 01-03 June, 2016

In the midst of the critical and persistent drought in India, the Word Bank together with International Water Association IWA convened the South Asia Groundwater Forum, with 113 representative from 20 countries. This was a key event in bringing partners from the different countries in the region (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) together for the first time to present and discuss groundwater issues and solutions. The likely impediment to development from depleting and degrading groundwater resources in the region came to the fore. The water-food-energy nexus was stressed as particularly relevant in controlling groundwater use and sustainability. Another factor increasingly being brought forward is poor groundwater quality, which further limits the available supply, whether due to geogenic sources like arsenic or from human pollution, like nitrates and bacterial contamination and salinization from sub-optimal irrigation practices or over-abstraction of groundwater in coastal areas.

Delegates during the deliberations

Delegates during the deliberations

Jeremy Bird, Director General, International Water Management Institute IWMI, gave a keynote address, and highlighted the emerging political will to deal with groundwater issues. Besides Jeremy Bird, IWMI was represented by Paul Pavelic, Karen Villholth, Herath Manthrithilake, and Arif Anwar.

Geert-Jan Nijsten, International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre IGRAC, in collaboration with World Bank gave a very informative presentation on ‘Groundwater and climate change’ as an entry point to a group session on ‘A Roadmap for Building Drought and Climate Resilience in the South Asia Region’.

The concluding session with Prof. Sanwar Lal Jat, the Honorable Minister of State, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation (WRRDGR), Government of India, Dr. Amita Prasad, Additional Secretary, MoEFCC, Government of India, 0and representatives from IWA Ger Bergkamp and Ganesh Pangare and from the World Bank Christina Leb and Bill Young

The concluding session with Prof. Sanwar Lal Jat, the Honorable Minister of State, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation (WRRDGR), Government of India, Dr. Amita Prasad, Additional Secretary, MoEFCC, Government of India, 0and representatives from IWA Ger Bergkamp and Ganesh Pangare and from the World Bank Christina Leb and Bill Young

GRIPP was launched at the meeting and attracted very good attention. Interest was shown from major institutions like IWA, IAH, IGES, ICLEI and others in becoming partners of GRIPP.

See a full media coverage of the event here.

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