World Water Day Observed at Cotton University
AZIR KHOBOR, GUWAHATI, 23RD MARCH : While 71% of Earth’s surface is covered with water, only 3% of the available water is freshwater. About two-thirds of the freshwater lies frozen in the form of glaciers and ice caps. The rest of the small portion is available in the form of groundwater and surface water. With the challenges in the environment and climate change looming large over all of us, availability of clean water resources and their management are areas of concern that need immediate address.
To initiate conversation on the same a seminar was organized at Cotton University at Sudmersen Hall on the occasion of World Water Day, which is observed on 22nd March every year.
The event was organized by G Plus, a city based weekly tabloid as a part of their Campus Talks series which is a programme aimed to encourage and involve the young students to initiate dialogue and discourse on topics of cultural, political or regional significance.
The theme for of the seminar was MEETING THE SDG GOAL: ACCESSES TO SAFE DRINKING AND ENSURING AVAILIBILITY which included a keynote presentation and a panel discussion on the subject “Levers of Change: Actions and Solutions for Safe Waters.”
Dr. Sonali Ghosh, OSD, Swachh Bharat Mission delivered the keynote address. She elaborated on the mission and vision of Jal Mission and apprised all present at the discussion on how India and Assam are moving towards achieving the 100% target on water security. “The entire Government is focused on ensuring that every household has a functional tap with clean and safe water. That is the mission of Jal Jeevan Mission for the next 5 years.”
She was supported by Dr. Gautam Kr. Sarma, State Project Specialist (WQM&S), supported by UNICEF, who spoke on the importance of setting up water testing laboratories to gauge and improve water quality in the state.
The panel discussion on the theme Levers of Change: Actions and Solutions for Safe Waters was moderated by Shri Barun Borpujari, Former ED Indian Oil Corporation Limited and the panellists were Dr. Chandan Mahanta, Professor, IIT Guwahati, Nripendra Sarma, Superintendent. Engg, PHE and Dr. Satyajit Kataki, Associate Professor, Geology Department, Cotton University. The welcome address was delivered by Smt. Nandinee Kalita, Project Head, G Plus. With a focus to achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking for all by 2030 under the Sustainable Development mandate, the panel discussion delved into issues of quality control in water, management of grey water, usage of water by community.