Background

Water is one of the most vital components of our living environment. It regulates economic growth, social and political change, technical and scientific advances and progress, in partial and/or totality. In India, water acts as a backbone of livelihood to more than 70% of the population engaged in the agriculture sector. Also, approximately 10-15% of the population is engaged in industries directly dependent on water such as textile, leather, food processing, etc. Water, therefore, has a multitude of linkages with the country's economic health. Furthermore, through its role in food security, energy security, and health, water ensures the right to life for all citizens.

United Nations recognizes that national priorities on reliable energy, economic growth, resilient infrastructure, sustainable industrialization, consumption and production, and food security, are all inextricably linked to a sustainable supply of clean water. Considering this, the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals recognize water as the key element of sustainable development by setting a dedicated global goal for water. Goal 6 of SDGs, further specifies targets to be achieved by 2030. The significance of these targets is emphasized by the interlinkages among them, and the achievement of every target depends on the achievement of others.

Hence, it is necessary that all the stakeholders equally share the responsibility of water management, water use efficiency, and water conservation, to facilitate the achievement of water security for all. Encouragement and recognition would be an effective way to build the culture of water resource protection and conservation. With this perspective, the TERI-IWA Water Sustainability Awards will cover the various dimensions related to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals on water.

About TERI

TERI is an independent, multi-dimensional organization, with expertise in research, policy, consultancy and implementation. TERI is proud to have innovators and agents of change in the energy, environment, climate change and sustainability spheres, having pioneered conversations and action in these areas for over four decades.

The institution believes that resource efficiency and waste management are the keys to smart, sustainable, and inclusive development. TERI’s work across sectors is focused on:

  • Promoting efficient use of resources
  • Increasing access and uptake of sustainable inputs and practices
  • Reducing negative impact on environment and climate

TERI’s research and research-based solutions have had a transformative impact on industries and communities. It has fostered international collaboration on sustainability action by creating a number of platforms and fora. Research gets translated into technology products, technical services, as well as policy advisory and outreach.

Headquartered in New Delhi, TERI has regional centres and campuses in Gurugram, Bengaluru, Guwahati, Mumbai, Panaji, and Nainital. A 1200+ team of scientists, sociologists, economists, and engineers engages in and implements insightful, high quality action-oriented research and transformative solutions supported by the state-of-the-art infrastructure.

Water Resources Division

With an aim to develop and implement integrated solutions for sustainable water management, the Water Resources Division provides services in core areas, such as applied research, training, and implementation. The group is continuously expanding its horizon of work to address the emerging challenges of the sector. The main competency of the division is in the following thematic areas: quantitative and qualitative assessment of water resources; water audit and water foot-printing; water-use efficiency including water conservation; wastewater treatment, recycle, and reuse; watershed and river basin management; urban water demand management; drinking water supply and sanitation sector; water quality and pollution studies; groundwater management; high altitude glacio-hydrological studies and policy analysis.

The division has undertaken field studies and suggested strategic actions for enhancing water use efficiency in various sectors like agriculture and industries through various projects and contributed towards one of the goals of the National Water Mission. The division is also working on the important aspect of exploring opportunities for wastewater treatment, reuse and resource recovery for urban and peri-urban sites in India with a consortium of leading institutes from India and Europe. The division has also been instrumental in assisting the corporate sector at grass-root level by undertaking implementation-based activities, such as pond rejuvenation for groundwater recharge to promote water conservation, a goal of the National Water Mission. Further, the division also undertook the construction of thousands of individual household toilets in the state of West Bengal to support Swachh Bharat Mission of the Government of India. The division has also been regularly carrying out outreach and capacity-building programmes for various stakeholders on different themes of water with the main focus on enhancing water use efficiency, water conservation and river basin management.

About IWA

The International Water Association is an open, yet ordered platform in which both innovators and adopters of new technologies and approaches can generate creative friction. It is a place for diffusion, benchmarking and evidence.

Innovative, solutions- and service-oriented, IWA works across a range of areas that contribute to the progression of water management worldwide. Transformation cannot take place on its own in a vacuum. Rather the ideas for solutions to these challenges will be fomented and rigorously debated among the IWA’s institutions and membership.

IWA Programmes establish change agendas on key themes for a water-wise world that contribute to sustainable development; these programmes are: Basins of the Future, Cities of the Future and Water and Sanitation Services. In shaping and furthering these agendas, IWA engages with a variety of individuals and organisations through initiatives, events and publications.

IWA programmes develop research and projects focused on solutions for water and wastewater management; organize world-class events that bring the latest science, technology and best practice to the water sector at large; place water on the global political agenda and to influence best practice in regulation and policy making; and achieve this via the IWA’s global membership. IWA members are situated in 140 countries worldwide, forming the largest international network of water professionals working towards a water wise world.

About the Awards

The TERI-IWA Water Sustainability Awards aim to encourage the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal on Water by way of reducing water footprint among various stakeholders through the adoption of the ‘water neutrality' approach.

The awards are spread over multiple categories and domains within the water sector, and hence recognizes the role of multiple stakeholders. It aims to recognize and encourage various stakeholders including, but not limited to, individuals, civil society organizations, industries, municipal boards, Village Panchayats, RWAs, etc., who are leading the local movement for the Sustainable Development Goals in the most transformative, impactful and innovative way.

The TERI-IWA Water Sustainability Awards evaluates excellence in all kinds of new ideas, approaches, processes, products, services, technologies, and other types of innovations in the water sector which can tangibly address the SDGs.