An accessible guide for water professionals and practitioners in India

As a society, we are undergoing a number of interconnected changes, from burgeoning populations and rising standards of living, to widespread urbanisation and rapid environmental degradation, all under a changing climate. Together, these changes are having significant impacts on our freshwater systems. Rapid innovation is needed to adapt our water management practices and technologies in order to meet water requirements while maintaining and, where needed, restoring, the ecosystems that provide us with life sustaining services, so that the resource is also protected for the future.

A new book published as a result of recent research collaborations between scientists in India and the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology shows why and how emerging scientific knowledge and new technologies can support sustainable management and use of freshwater resources.

Designed to be accessible, yet comprehensive, the book is targeted at people interested in water resource management, but who may not be scientific experts in the various areas. This includes water professionals who set the agenda for and manage water operations, as well as training providers, NGOs and students. The book provides an introduction to what new science is out there, where it can contribute to sustainable water resources management, and what the next critical science gaps are that need to be filled.

This book takes an integrated, whole-system view, highlighting the importance of interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral working and the need for practitioners and researchers to work together to co-design and co-development future projects.  It combines current scientific understanding with cases studies of application in the real world.

The chapters cover topics including:

  • The management of agricultural water demand using soil moisture measurements;
  • Enhancement of flood risk management and drought decision-making;
  • Monitoring river water quality and restoring urban lakes; and
  • Improved river basin planning.

While the research presented was conducted in an Indian context, the scientific developments and potential solutions outlined are applicable to other parts of the world facing similar water challenges.

Emerging Science for Sustainable Water Resources Management is edited by Dr Sunita Sarkar and Prof. Harry Dixon of the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology.

The support and the contributions of Indian partner organisations to enable the active input of their staff towards this publication is acknowledged.