Hyderabad has won a competitive bid process to host the Global Water Security Conference in 2018, thanks in part to leading research on water security being undertaken in the city. The conference will be attended by about 500 delegates from 30 countries, comprising scientists, researchers, NGOs, policy makers, entrepreneurs and farmers.

The purpose of the conference, organised by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE), is to bring together researchers, practitioners and policymakers to share research and discuss creative solutions related to water security. The conference will emphasise the importance of water security issues, especially related to water quality, ecosystem protection, and the production of food, fibre and energy crops, as well as the need to secure adequate water supplies to meet future demand.

Hyderabad is one of the fastest-growing cities in India and water security is a major issue. The quantity and quality of its water is often inadequate and differently accessed based on land tenure, settlement type, socio-economic conditions, and provider. As such it has become a hub for a number of multinational research programmes focussed on water security.

This includes a two-year hydrological research project currently taking place in the city to understand how the present water usage will impact future water availability. The multinational SaciWATERs project is funded by Bordeaux Metropole and the India-based sustainable water foundation Arghyam. Knowledge partners include natural resource management company Suez Environnement and Bordeaux-based R & D centre Le Lyre.

This conference win follows shortly after the city’s hosting of the International Conference on Climate Change, Water, Agriculture and Food Security (ICCCWAFS-2016) in November 2016, which again incorporated discussion on the conservation of natural resources including water.

At that event, Dr. K. Yella Reddy, Director, Agriculture and Research of Hyderabad’s Water and Land Management Training and Research Institute (WALAMTARI) noted the developments arising from the ‘Clima Adapt’ project undertaken in the region. The multidisciplinary project, which aims to develop smart technologies for water management in crops, includes scientists from various local institutes like WALAMATARI, M.S. Swaminthan Research Foundation and the International Water Management Institute, along with international partners the Norwegian Institute for Bio Economy Research.

The Global Water Security Conference will be held in October 2018 at Hyderabad International Convention Centre (HICC), incorporating three days of meetings and a day-long technical tour.

(via M&IT India, SaciWATERS, The Times of India)