Mainstreaming Sustainable Urban Water Management: Issue and challenges in policy and practice

Date: December 27, 2016 

Venue: Magnolia Hall, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi

Organized by: Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi 

Supported by: Ministry of Urban Development, Govt of India

Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) is the Centre for Excellence in sustainable water management area designated by the Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India under the Capacity Building of Urban Local Bodies scheme. Since 2009 the centre has been assisting the ministry in policy research, capacitating municipal functionaries through tailor made training programmes, awareness creation and technical advisory support for sustainable water management. This includes hand holding support in planning, design and implementation of best management practices in urban water management area. 

The two national seminar(s) are part of series of activities organised by centre aimed towards wider consultation with both state and non-state actor, advocacy and awareness in support of sustainable urban water – wastewater management policies framework to guide the plan, programmes and projects:    

Seminar 1: Mainstreaming urban water conservation and efficiency (9.00-1.00pm)

For improved accessibility as well as availability of water supply in town/cities several programmes have been launched by both central and state/local governments. According to UN estimated water resources availability India is a water stressed country with rapid urbanisation. Increasing demand supply gap requires India cities to be water prudent as they grow. Urban water conservation and efficiency is still not mainstream element in plans, programmes and projects in spite of several intervention demonstrating clear benefits to government as well as communities.

Need is to develop a policy and requisite enabling framework aimed at mainstreaming conservation and efficiency in urban water and drainage /storm management; conservation of lakes /other waterbodies; rain water harvesting and groundwater recharge including reuse/recycle of treated wastewater. The aim is to supply quality water to urban areas and to prevent crisis by making best use of the available technologies and to conserve the existing water resources, convert them into utilisable form and make efficient use of them in different sectors. This includes strategies to improve existing management models by working on demand management including usage of water efficient fixtures, reducing NRW and also operating, maintaining and monitoring these systems. 

Seminar 2: Mainstreaming energy efficiency in urban water management in the wake of climate change (2.00-5.30pm)

Due to rapid and un-regulated urbanization as well as out-dated energy intensive urban water management models urban local bodies, water utilities / water and sewerage boards are over-whelmed by various challenges. Energy requirements for provision of basic services like water supply and wastewater treatment is considerably high with utilities / local bodies struggling to even maintain existing services and even pay salaries of staff. This problem will further exacerbate with climate change related uncertainties surrounding both water and energy sector that will act as a significant ‘threat multiplier’. 

High energy footprint of the conventional municipal water management practices and contemporary fragmentation between the water and energy sector has resulted in missed joint opportunities for resource conservation and have therefore constrained both sectors from fully deploying financial, environmental and societal benefits. It is now important for decision makers to view energy efficiency not only for sustainable urban water management but also as a tool for carbon mitigation in cities.

Knowledge sharing and consultation on mainstreaming resources efficiency thematic areas including the draft the policy paper(s) prepared by CSE. 


  • To review the existing and upcoming policies, programmes and projects on mainstreaming urban water conservation and efficiency

  • To share case studies on best management practices from International/National experience 

  • To present draft policy brief on mainstreaming urban conservation and efficiency in India

Target Participants

Key state and non-state actors involved in policy advocacy for sustainable water management. 

The seminar will bring together policy makers from both center and state as well as senior municipal functionaries of urban local bodies, PHED department and para statal agencies (Jal Nigams and Water Supply & Sewerage Boards), senior municipal functionaries, academics/research institutions, non-governmental organizations, international donor agencies.    

Registration Fees

There is no registration fee. Limited seats. For registration contact following CSE co-ordinators : 

Dr Mahreen Matto, Programme Manager – Water Management
Tel. 91-11-40616000; Ext:257;  
Fax: 91-11-29955879
Email:; Mobile: 9868018045

Ms Chhavi Sharda, Programme Officer – Water Management
Tel. 91 11 40616000; Ext: 244;
Fax: 91-11-29955879
Email:; Mobile: 9971212009

For further information: 

Dr Suresh Kumar Rohilla, Programme Director – Water Management