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BOKU scientists meet Indian Water Minister

Updated: Jan 1, 2021

This post, written by Rafaela Schinegger and Daniel Hayes, originally appeared as a top-story on in November 2019.


Scientists from the Institute of Hydrobiology and Aquatic Ecosystem Management (IHG), University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU) participated in a workshop on environmental river flows on 21st and 22nd of October 2019 in Delhi, India. Prof. Stefan Schmutz, Dr. Rafaela Schinegger and Daniel Hayes (MSc) contributed as international experts and facilitators in this event, where a wide variety of cutting-edge topics as well as expert speakers from various backgrounds served to promote solutions regarding challenges in environmental flows assessment and implementation.

Exchanging experiences

The purpose of the workshop was to exchange Indian, European and international experiences on environmental flows. The event was brought together by the German International Cooperation (GIZ) and the National Mission of Clean Ganga (NMCG) along with the Indo-German cooperation with its project “Support to Ganga Rejuvenation” (SGR) and the European Union through the India-EU Water Partnership (IEWP).

International researchers and other workshop participants with Minister Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat (middle front) (Foto by @gssjodhpur team).

It is increasingly recognized that integrated environmental management is the best and most sustainable way to attain healthy river ecosystems. Therefore, the two-day workshop not only included in-depth talks on various aspects of environmental flows, but also discussions on how environmental flows assessment and implementation can be integrated into sustainable river basin management. Relevant Indian decision-makers and stakeholders along with national and international experts, including those from Germany, Austria, United Kingdom, Bhutan, Poland, The Netherlands and South Africa, were present during the workshop.

Guidance document

Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat (@OfficeOfGSS), Indian Union Minister for Water (Jal Shakti), inaugurated the international workshop. The Hon’ble Minister also formally released the first version of a Guidance Document on environmental flows assessment in India. The outputs of this workshop and further research work will contribute to an advanced version of this guidance document and encourage the successful implementation of environmental flows in India. The participating BOKU researchers will continue to contribute their scientific expertise in this respect within the framework of a project launched in September.

"We have the identified aim of Aviral and Nirmal Dhara - continuous and clean flows as our tribute to Mother Ganga and we intend to extend this to all other rivers in the country", says the Indian water minister @OfficeOfGSS.

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