Delegation of the European Union to India and Bhutan

India-EU Water Partnership hosts Workshop on River Basin Management

Bruxelles, 31/05/2018 - 11:41, UNIQUE ID: 180531_11
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Experts and officials discuss guidelines for evaluating India’s rivers while supporting the human livelihoods connected to them

New Delhi | 23 May, 2018: Water experts and government officials from India and the European Union (EU) met for a two-day workshop in New Delhi on May 21-22, 2018. The workshop, hosted by the India-EU Water Partnership (IEWP), focused on E-flows and their assessment.

E-flows, or environmental flows, manage the amount, timing and quality of water flowing in rivers that have had water removed, either because of over irrigation or because their flow has been reduced by human activities. This workshop, part of the IEWP Action Plan 2017-2020, is a cooperative step towards developing a data framework methodology for E-flow assessment in Indian river basins. Once properly gauged, E-flow strategies can be optimized to better support the human livelihoods connected to river systems and also achieve environmental objectives.

The mechanisms used in Europe for assessing E-flows set measures that improve riverine ecology and create socio-economic benefits. At the workshop, it was discussed how measures like these they can be tailored to India. The Government of India has signalled its interest in adopting river basin management strategies with parallels to successful EU models - like the ongoing European efforts towards restoring rivers like the Danube, Elbe, and Rhine.

The 23 workshop participants discussed policies and current E-flow frameworks, E-flow methodologies in the EU, data needs, as well as the testing and development of methodologies to assess E-flows in three selected pilot cases in India. Taking part were Indian officials as well as experienced E-flow experts from several institutions including the Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute (CIFRI), Central Water Commission (CWC), National Institute of Hydrology (NIH), Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and World Wildlife Foundation (WWF)

Bhopal Singh, Chief Engineer - Upper Ganga Basin Organization and workshop co-chair, sees the workshop exchange as an important step towards coherent E-flow assessment in India’s river basins. Brigit Vogel, the IEWP’s project manager, continues: “By creating a strategy with Indian and EU representatives and experts, we were able to initiate the joint tailoring of complex methodologies to the situation here in India.”

 

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