Virtual in nature, this final UEI communicated the current scientific needs and nature of government-academia collaborations in India to wider scientific and stakeholder communities in both the countries. A set of pre-recorded interviews with experts from the Indian and the UK water sector were launched during the 2-hour event held on the 9th of September 2020. The event was then kept open to Thursday, September 17, 2020. Below is the unedited content launched on 9th September.

Welcome to 'Water Resource Management & Science – Supporting One Another'

In previous years, IUKWC has hosted ‘User Engagement Initiatives (UEIs)’, which were held in-country, and were focused on promoting the uptake of research results into policy/operational practice. The UEIs were designed to bring together scientists with policy makers, regulators or commercial companies to discuss and share ideas, real-life challenges and opportunities for future collaborations. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been impossible to physically bring people together, and so the IUKWC brings you the Virtual UEI.  

Starting with welcome addresses from our Centre Coordinators (one in English and one in Hindi), we have put together a set of pre-recorded interviews that cover diverse topics on sustainable water management, planning, and development, for you.

Each video has its own page [no longer available as separate pages ]with a description of the topic covered, a transcript of the interview in Hindi [no longer available], and the opportunity to post comments [no longer available].  Our Experts will endeavour to respond to your comments up to September 17th 2020, after which the comments section will no longer be available. We would love to know which organisation you are with, so please include that with your comment!

Check out our side panel for further ways to engage and for further information [no longer available].  Please do enjoy your time with us, and we do humbly request that you keep your comments appropriate for public viewing.

India UK Water Centre - Welcome Prof. Harry Dixon in English

A welcome address, in English, from the India UK Water Centre's UK Coordinator, Prof. Harry Dixon, Group Leader, Water Resources Systems Group, UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology.

India UK Water Centre - Welcome Dr. AK Sahai in Hindi

A welcome address, in Hindi, from the India UK Water Centre's India Coordinator, Dr. A K Sahai, Scientist G', Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune.


Expert videos

Working Together - Perspectives from the Director, Basin Planning Directorate, Central Water Commission

Interviewee: Shri. Sunil Kumar, Director of Basin Planning Directorate, Central Water Commission

A look at linking science and practice from the perspective of water professionals. In this interview, Shri. Kumar provides his views on the positives of collaboration, as well as the challenges and barriers to this work. He also shares his experience on collaborating on projects and how these were initiated, and on what according to him are the most pressing challenges or questions that need answering from a water management perspective.


Coupled Human And Natural Systems Environment (CHANSE) for water management under uncertainty in the Indo-Gangetic Plain

Interviewee: Prof. Subimal Ghosh, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay

Helping stakeholders at different levels – from farmers to water managers, make sustainable water resource management decisions by making their needs and the true scenarios they face, is integral to this water management framework. The framework is based on two approaches in land-surface modelling - Systems Dynamic Approach, and the Variable Infiltration Capacity model, which has been modified to Indian conditions by coupling the model with groundwater model, Indian Irrigation and paddy irrigation scenarios. Together this framework gives us a better understanding of how the human (water use, management, economics, cropping, etc.) and natural (climate, hydrology, etc) systems in India interact under changing situations, thereby helping us make better water management decisions.


Upscaling Catchment Processes in Peninsular India (UPSCAPE)

Interviewee: Dr. Kaushal Garg, ICRISAT, Hyderabad

Providing a new way for stakeholders to prioritise investments in agricultural water management interventions, which is based on water budgeting. This work, done under a project within UPSCAPE, provides evidence-based solutions to address the issues of planning, designing, and implementing agriculture water management interventions in different agro-ecological regions, and also enhance capacity towards impact assessment. The aim of the project was to understand the impacts of the large range of water management interventions, which have been used in India over the last 2 to 3 decades, on upstream development, downstream water bodies and water availability to different stakeholders. Development agencies, such as the watershed development department, line departments of agriculture, irrigation, Panchayati Raj in India, and anyone working on rainwater harvesting interventions would gain from this work.


Groundwater resilience to climate change and abstraction in the Indo-Gangetic basin

Interviewees: Dr. Andrew McKenzie, British Geological Survey, UK & Dr Gopal Krishan, NIH Roorkee

Drawing a long history of collaboration between BGS and NIH on understanding issues of water quantity and water quality in the Gangetic plains, this interview focusses on– Saline groundwater and the applicability of Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR). Having recently conducted a pilot study in the South 24 Parganas district of West Bengal, the interview will shed light on how ASR works, the requirements to establish such schemes, and the possible future of ASR in India. It also covers some of the challenges to rolling out this methodology, but also why it is critical not to ignore its potential. A good candidate for consideration in some of the national water supply and provision programmes.


Alluvial aquifer characterisation and data integration for better groundwater management in India

Interviewees: Prof. Rajiv Sinha, IIT Kanpur & Prof. Alexander Densmore, University of Durham, UK

This project, done in close collaboration with the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB), can support the development of sustainable groundwater management plans for states where alluvial aquifers are prominent (Haryana and Punjab - the pilot study sites, as well as UP and Bihar). The alluvial aquifer system that underlies the Indo-Gangetic basin in north western India, is one of the world’s largest such systems, with the greatest sustained groundwater loss anywhere on the planet. This multi-disciplinary project developed a framework that shows how water level declines are linked to underlying geomorphic settings of the region, and that different future water scenarios and water efficiency interventions, will result in variable results across the system. An informative interview for the agriculture sector which draws the most from groundwater, and anyone interested in groundwater management.


Sustaining Himalayan Water resources in a changing climate (SusHi-Wat)

Interviewees: Prof. Ian Holman & Dr. Andrea Momblanch, Cranfield University, UK

Targeted at institutions (or teams within an institution) who have a strategic remit toward water management, use or allocation, at Central, State or River Basin levels, this project focussed on the co-development of a water resource systems model that can be used to inform current and future decision making to support the sustainable development and management of the region's water resources. It is a ‘whole-systems’ approach, based on the commercially available Water Evaluation and Planning (WEAP) model, and hence, readily transferable to other water systems with the support of the key stakeholders. Watch the video to learn more.


COSMOS-India: Managing Water Well - Part A

Interviewee: Dr. Jonathan Evans, UKCEH

Dr Evans introduces the COSMOS system – a field scale in situ soil moisture measurement technology – which can inform water resource managers and agricultural outreach practitioners on the soil moisture status and crop water need, thus helping to reduce over-irrigation and increase water use efficiency, whilst maintaining or improving crop yields. These outputs can have multiple uses in current decision-making systems, as well as through linkage to some of the other outputs being shared in this event – such as CHANSE & UPSCAPE, for example. 


COSMOS-India: Managing Water Well - Part B

Interviewee: Dr Milind Mujumdar

Dr Mujumdar shares the work being done under the Rural Capacity Building Programme, led by IITM, and building on the COSMOS project in India.  In this interview you will learn about the low-cost sensors for monitoring field-scale variations of surface and sub-surface soil moisture that are being developed with various organisations.  You will also learn about the development of a wireless network for these sensors being done with rural faculty and students.