A large part of the human population lives in coastal zones, often concentrated in major urban centers. Ongoing population and economic growth place an increasing demand on already-stressed water resources and put coastal aquifers at risk of seawater intrusion. Intensive groundwater abstraction has caused groundwater salinisation in coastal regions all over the world. Rising sea levels and increased incidence of storm surges due to climate change as well as land subsidence are likely to exacerbate the issue over the coming decades. In the context of a rising demand and decreasing resources, water use efficiency and source diversification are key ingredients for a secure water supply. Groundwater plays a crucial role in this, but the available amounts and renewal rates vary from one coastal region to the other. Therefore, sustainable water resource management is only possible when the groundwater system is fully understood, which requires a well-designed monitoring network. While data is the first prerequisite for management, good governance is another equally important precondition. Without a clear understanding of the role of groundwater in a region’s economic development, cross sectoral coordination and legislative enforcement, no management policy can be effective.

This conference will discuss about the risks and hazards to coastal groundwater system due to overexploitation and various climate change scenarios well as the principles of good groundwater management and governance. It will also provide a selection of examples of proven strategies to safeguard fresh groundwater resources through abstraction management, demand-reduction, enhanced freshwater recharge and engineering measures to prevent seawater intrusion. As each coastal zone is unique in its combination of hydrogeological and socio-economic conditions, a different set of measures are needed for different regions. Monitoring water level over the last four decades (since 1970 onwards), in many parts of India has provided a clear evidence of a long-term water-level decline, as a result of increased groundwater abstraction. This has resulted in the deterioration of water quality and the widespread drying-up of wells, especially after the ‘failure’ of the monsoon. Deepening of wells does not appear to be a viable option as most wells already fully penetrate the shallow weathered aquifer. This has resulted in debt trap for farmers particularly for the monsoon climatic countries such as India and African continent. It is under this scenario, that augmentation of groundwater resources through artificial recharge was started long ago.

It is proposed to organise the Indian National Groundwater Conference (INGWC-2020) to discuss over the’Groundwater Resources Management for Sustainable Development with the Special Emphasis on Coastal and Urban Environment’ at CWRDM, Kozhikode, Kerala, India during 18th to 20th February 2020 (Pre-Conference workshop on Groundwater Modeling will be held on 17th February). The Centre for Water Resources Development and Management (CWRDM) will host the conference in collaboration with AGGS (India), Central Ground Water Board (CGWB), NIT Calicut and GEOFORUM (MS), India.

This conference series (IGWC & INGWC) organized by the Association of Global Groundwater Scientists (AGGS), Coimbatore, India since 2002 have attracted both national and international experts in all facets of hydrogeology, hydrogeochemistry, hydrogeophysics, water resource engineering, economics, water resources management and water supply. It has brought together water utilities practitioners, hydrogeologists, consultants, the wider water industry, and all levels of government, academics and students. This conference aims to bring Scientists, Researchers, Students, Engineers, Water Resources Specialists, Government Administrators, NGO’s and all those interested in groundwater and related environmental problems to a common platform and offer the opportunity to exchange ideas, knowledge, experience, techniques and knowhow in various aspects of groundwater research carried out in the last few decades in India and elsewhere.

Centre for Water Resources Development and Management (CWRDM), Kozhikode, India

CWRDM is a premier R & D institution in the water sector established by the Government of Kerala. Recognizing the need for catering to the R & D needs in the field of water management, the Centre for Water Resources Development and Management (CWRDM) was established as an autonomous research organization by the Government of Kerala, under its Science and Technology Policy in February 1978. The Centre was amalgamated with the Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment (KSCSTE) in its Silver Jubilee Year-2003. CWRDM has substantially contributed to the scientific hydrologic studies and water management in the region. Starting with the establishment of data management system for the region, CWRDM has tackled different problems pertaining to watershed development, wetland management, water management for agriculture, forest and urban hydrology, estuarine management, groundwater development, water quality management, water related environmental issues, irrigation and drainage issues, etc. About 180 projects have been completed and more than 1500 scientific papers and 1300 research reports have been brought out. The institution regularly conducts several training courses to address the needs of Government Departments, NGOs, Local Bodies, etc.

Central Ground Water Board (CGWB), India

Central Ground Water Board (CGWB), a subordinate office of the Ministry of Water Resources, Government of India, is the National Apex Agency entrusted with the responsibilities of providing scientific inputs for management, exploration, monitoring, assessment, augmentation and regulation of ground water resources of the country. Central Ground Water Board was established in 1970 by renaming the Exploratory Tube wells Organization under the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India. It was merged with the Ground Water Wing of the Geological Survey of India during 1972.

Central Ground Water Board is a multi-disciplinary scientific organization consisting of Hydrogeologists, Geophysicists, Chemists, Hydrologists, Hydrometeorologists and Engineers and has its headquarters at BHUJAL BHAWAN, NH 4, Faridabad, Haryana. It is headed by the Chairman and has four main wings, namely (i) Sustainable Management & Liaison (SML), (ii) Survey, Assessment & Monitoring (SAM), (iii) Exploratory Drilling & Materials Management (ED & MM) and (iv) Water Quality & Training and Technology Transfer (WQ & TT). Each wing is headed by a Member. The administrative & financial matters of the Board are being dealt with by the Director (Administration) and Finance & Accounts Officer (FAO) respectively. The Board has 18 Regional offices, each headed by a Regional Director, supported by 17 Engineering Divisions and 11 State Unit Offices for undertaking various field activities. The Rajiv Gandhi National Ground Water Training & Research Institute (RGNGT&RI), which coordinates the capacity building activities of the Board functions from the CGWB, Raipur. Various activities related to regulation of ground water development in the country are being looked after by the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA), constituted under the Environmental (Protection) Act, 1986. Major activities being taken up by Central Ground Water Board include macro/micro-level ground water management studies, exploratory drilling programme, monitoring of ground water levels and water quality through a network of ground water observation wells comprising both large diameter open wells and purpose-built bore/tube wells (piezometers), implementation of demonstrative schemes for artificial recharge and rainwater harvesting for recharge augmentation. Periodic assessment of replenishable ground water resources of the country is carried out by the Board jointly with the concerned State Government agencies. Geophysical studies, remote sensing & GIS studies and ground water modeling studies are taken up to supplement these activities. The Board also takes up special studies on various aspects of ground water sector such as ground water depletion, sea water ingress, ground water contamination, conjunctive use of surface & ground water, water balance etc. It also organizes various capacity building activities for personnel of its own as well as Central/State Government organizations engaged in various activities in ground water sector as well as mass awareness campaigns on the importance of water conservation and judicious ground water management. The data generated from various studies taken up by CGWB provide a scientific base for water resource planning by stakeholders. Besides advising states and other user agencies on planning and management of ground water resources, Central Ground Water Board also provides technical know-how for scientific ground water exploration, development and management to various stakeholders.

The Board regularly publishes scientific reports based on the data generated through various investigations for dissemination to the stakeholders. These include State and District hydrogeological reports, ground water year books and Atlases, ground water user maps and guides/manuals/pamphlets on various aspects of ground water management. Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) was constituted under sub-section (3) of Section 3 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 for the purposes of regulation and control of ground water development and management in the country. The Authority is engaged in various activities related to regulation of ground water development to ensure its long-term sustainability.

National Institute of Technology, Calicut (NIT-C), India

National Institute of Technology Calicut (NITC) is one of the 31 institutions of national importance under the NIT Act 2007 and is fully funded by the Government of India. The mandate of the Institute is to provide higher technical education and conduct research in the various branches of Engineering, Science, Technology and Management. Originally established in 1961 as a Regional Engineering College (REC), it was transformed into a National Institute of Technology in the year 2002. Institute offers bachelors, masters and doctoral degree programs in Engineering, Science, Technology and Management. With its proactive collaborations with a multitude of research organizations, academic institutions and industries, the institute has set a new style for its functioning under the NIT regime. Set in a picturesque landscape at the foothills of the Western Ghats, NITC is located about 22 kilometers north – east of Calicut City. It stretches over a length of about 1.5 Kilometers along the Calicut-Mukkam road, extending over an area of approximately 120 hectares. Being a fully residential institution, the campus houses academic buildings, research labs, hostels, residences and other amenities among its infrastructure. The Institute is presently offering 10 UG programs with a total intake of 1049 and 30 PG programs including MBA with a total intake of 666. Doctoral level research has remarkably increased in the recent times, with over 517 research scholars registered and there has also been a substantial increase in the volume of research papers and patents produced.

AGGS, India

AGGS with its registered office in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India, is committed to work on the promotion of research for minimizing groundwater pollution and to advocate the effective use of groundwater for better health and sustainable livelihood through undertaking appropriate measures. AGGS organizes seminars/symposia at various centres in India and in the neighboring countries viz. Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal and Bhutan and publishes proceedings and new findings. It also plays a partner role along with other International Associations viz., IAHS & IAH in organizing international events in other developing countries as well as SAARC countries. The 6th Annual Convention of AGGS will be held during the INGWC-2020 in CWRDM, Kozhikode.

GEOFORUM, Maharashtra, India

The Association of Geologists and Hydrogeologists (GEOFORUM) is a pioneer organization which is purely academic and voluntary, established by Geologists and Hydrogeologists who are mainly engaged in solving water scarcity related problems, research activities thereto and social upliftment through natural resources management. Since its inception in the year 2003, Geoforum has been progressing by leaps and bounds so much so that at present it has enrolled as many as 250 members from various disciplines.

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