Leaving No One Behind – IESL World Water Day 2019
The Water Forum, water arm of the Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka (IESL) was established for spreading awareness amongst population and all concerned, particularly among Engineers working in the water sector about efficient water management by adopting best practices. The mission of Water Forum is to promote and propagate the concept of Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) and facilitate the innovation, technology development for conservation and management of water resources. The Forum being a knowledge platform will facilitate exchange of ideas, opinions and groom professional standing on water related issues relevant for Sri Lanka.
To accomplish this purpose, the Water Forum is conducting conferences, meetings, workshops, seminars, symposia, group meetings, public lectures, panel discussions, World Water Day commemorations etc for water sector professionals as well as general public. The Water Forum extend the support to the Government and other regulatory bodies to evolve and make professional standing policy recommendations in the fields of development, conservation and management of water resources based on the experience gained and exchange of knowledge and performance of existing systems and projects. The Water Forum develop partnerships with academia and research organizations and Non-Government Organizations working in the water sector to enhance knowledge and experience of all stakeholders and to encourage development and use of advanced technologies, engineering and management practices in conservation and management of water resources. The forum consist of experts and professional from drinking water, irrigation, agriculture, power production, environment, water quality, wastewater, groundwater and rain water harvesting sectors who are contributing to the development of water sector representing all branches of water related systems.
The IESL Water Forum every year marks the World Water day, a major event in the water calendar. In this year too the Water Forum in collaboration with the Civil Engineering Sectional Committee has organized a "Programme" to mark the World Water Day 2019 themed "Leaving No One Behind". The event was held on 21st March 2019 commencing at 2.30 pm at Wimalasurendra Auditorium of IESL followed by a fellowship. Eng. Prof. T.M. Pallewatte, President of IESL is the chief guest for the event. This prestigious event is excelled by six guest lectures followed by question and answer sessions and open discussions.
The welcome address was presented by Eng. Dr. Kamal Laksiri, Chairman of Water Forum. The first gest lecture was delivered by Eng. Ananda Jayaweera , Technical Advisor of Regional Centre for Sanitation under the Ministry of City Planning Water Supply & Higher Education regarding "Leaving No One Behind" which is the theme of World Water Day 2019. The second guest lecture was conducted by Eng. Lalith De Alwis, Director (Water Resources Management) of Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Economic Affairs, Livestock Development, Irrigation and Fisheries & Aquatic Resources Development on an expedient topic of "Strategic Action Plan to Combat Climate Change in Water Sector in Sri Lanka". Eng. D.W.C. Dayarathne, General Manager of Engineering Infotechs Ideas (Pvt) Ltd. will deliver the third guest lecture on "Providing water to northern dry zone areas of Sri Lanka" which was considered as a burning issue subjected to several discussions during last decade. A comprehensive question and answer session and panel discussion will be conducted after the first session of lectures.
Dr. R.M.S.K. Rathnayake, Director (Pollution Control) of Central Environment Authority was present the fourth guest lecture regarding "Environmental Impacts of Wastewater and Control Strategies in Sri Lanka" addressing policies, rules and regulations for minimize the impact of unsafe discharge of wastewater to the environment. The fifth guest lecture on convenient topic of "Are We Safe with Future Agricultural Water?" was conducted by Dr. G.A.S. Ginigaddara , Senior Lecturer of Faculty of Agriculture of Rajarata University of Sri Lanka; highlighting current and future trends of agriculture water usage and respective impacts. Eng. S.A. Rasheed, Project Director of Greater Colombo Water & Wastewater Management Improvement Programme under the National Water Supply and Drainage board (NWSDB) will conduct the sixth guest lecture on "Renewing Water Supply for Developing Colombo" describing the planned development and implementation strategies. A comprehensive question and answer session and panel discussion will be followed by the second session of lectures.
The Water Forum had conducted an art competition and essay competition for school children with the purpose of improving the water related awareness among students. The forum received an active response from various schools and selected top three ranked essays and arts. The awarding ceremony of art and essay competition will also be held at World Water Day Programme 2019.
The six guest lectures addressing burning issues of water sector and describing latest innovations in water sector will improve water related awareness while awarding ceremony encourage development of water related competency of public.
Let us hold hands in hands and move forward without leaving any one behind for a better tomorrow while conserving nature' s precious gift; water for future generations.