Stressing that groundwater is going to be a major source for humanity and that managing groundwater resources is important to avoid conflict over water, Dr. M.S. Swaminathan, Emeritus Chairman, Chief Mentor and Founder of the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation said it is necessary to pay close attention to increasing supply, demand management and controlling pollution of groundwater.
“ There is water-water everywhere but not a drop to drink… future wars may come from a war for water” he said delivering the Chief Guest Address at the Sixth International Groundwater Conference (IGWC 2015) organized by
Department of Civil Engineering, SRM University, Kattankulathur. The conference is being attended by more than 250 delegates including many from the West and the Asia Pacific.
“Mandatory water harvesting has certainly helped and this has to become a part of our culture. The issue is not just supply augmentation but also one of demand management, especially in the agriculture sector where over 70 percent of groundwater is used for irrigation”, the Father of India’s Green Revolution said pointing out the example of Israel in which there was complete need based computerized irrigation. “That kind of sophistication we have not achieved yet in India”, he added.
Staying on the theme of the criticality of groundwater resources, the Founder Chancellor of SRM Group of Educational Institutions, Dr. T.R. Paarivendhar maintained that “If at all there is to be a Third World War, it is going to be over water”. The Founder Chancellor pointed out to the importance of water requirements. “On one hand we have heavy rains and on the other we have droughts. This has to be managed and striking the balance is a challenge” he said. “Unless water is properly stored, the problem of groundwater will always remain”, he added
The conference was focused on themes such as assessment of Groundwater Resources and Aquifer characterization; groundwater recharge estimation procedures and issues; impact of Climate Change on freshwater resources & agriculture;
groundwater pollution and its remedial measures; flow and Mass Transport Models in the assessment management of groundwater resources and groundwater management policies.