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IUKWC, under its User Engagement Initiative (UEI) programme hosted an event in Kochi, Kerala, India in January 2018 to engage with regional level water policy and management bodies for Improving freshwater monitoring frameworks and data for research and management. Targeted activities were conducted by a panel of experts which had been selected based on their expertise and IUKWC Open Network Profile.
Need for Engagement with Regional Water Policy and Management Bodies in India
The IUKWC used feedback from the members of its Open Network of India-UK Water Scientists to plan its first UEI. The results of the survey highlight the importance of engaging with regional level stakeholders to raise awareness on availability and enhance applicability of current scientific technologies and frameworks for improving freshwater monitoring. To achieve this, stakeholders need to have a thorough understanding of the potential of the evolving scientific knowledge as well as the risks and limitations involved. There is a need for stakeholders to engage together with others such as development practitioners, water businesses, social scientists, etc., to better understand needs of end users and derive cross-sectoral solutions. A detailed report on the results of the selection survey can be found here.
The stakeholder groups of focus on this event are:
- Organizations at a State/District level, responsible for the development of water policy and the management of freshwater issues. Examples include: State Environment officers, State environmental agencies, State water boards, municipalities, inter-municipal bodies, river basin authorities, regional environment development agencies, etc.
- Stakeholders at regional scale that connect policy makers with implementers and regulators; they are responsible for identification and interpretation of available scientific knowledge (hydro-climatic services), recognizing its utility and facilitate its dissemination at local level while ensuring adherence to legal and policy devices. Example: For farmers at the field or for disaster management teams to better manage water resources.
Engagement between regional stakeholders and scientists helps foster understanding of the hierarchy and functions of various governmental and non-governmental actors, the process of flow of information amongst these actors and their motivations, needs and expectations from the research community.
The key output from this UEI event was the efficient dissemination of recent joint India–UK science and technology in freshwater monitoring. Including:
- Sector-specific exposure on latest science and technology (requirements and limitations differ by sector in water management).
- Building user feedback mechanisms.
- Awareness of available technologies in respective water management sectors.
- Publication of a Water Brief on application of science and technology to address water related problems in different sectors and related user feedback.