IUKWC progress report: Year 1

India-UK Water Centre. 2017 IUKWC progress report: Year 1. Wallingford and Pune, NERC/Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, 28pp. (UKCEH Project no. C05962)

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The India-UK Water Centre (IUKWC) was established in 2016 to promote cooperation and collaboration in water security research by developing a platform for long-term partnerships and dialogue between Indian and UK water researchers, water policy-makers and water businesses. Funding from the National Environment Research Council (NERC), UK and Ministry of Earth Sciences, India (MoES) has supported the Centre’s first year of activity. Over the past twelve months the operational framework for the Centre has been put in place and initial activities have been funded and delivered. This report outlines the progress made in the first year and presents some initial indicators of uptake by the India-UK water science community. The IUKWC is delivered by a joint Secretariat, based in the UK at the NERC Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) and in India, at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM). It has been our pleasure to jointly coordinate the Centre for the last year. In addition to ourselves, a Secretariat team of experiences project managers, stakeholder engagement experts, administrators and web developers has been assembled to take forward the Centre. The co-delivery model between India and the UK has been shown to work well with the Secretariat collaborating closely despite the geographical detachment. The Open Network of India-UK Water Scientists was launched by the Centre in September 2016 as a cornerstone of its efforts to engage the community. With over 350 registered members to date, the Open Network is proving a popular and useful tool for linking researchers across the two countries. Initiatives to engage the wider water stakeholder community are in development, including the collation of information on key organisations and individuals in a database. At the heart of the IUKWC concept are a series of activities designed to facilitate partnerships between scientists. The Centre’s first workshop was held in Pune in November-December 2016 on the topic of “Developing hydro-climatic services for water security”. The event was well subscribed with participants providing strong feedback on the benefits to their research and international engagement. A bilingual State of Science Water Brief has also been produced summarizing the key findings from the workshop for stakeholders. Following the success of the Pune workshop the first Open Call for delivery of the second workshop was launched. Numerous joint applications by Indian and UK scientists were put forward suggesting workshops on a wide range of topics. Current funding levels meant that the Centre could only support one workshop in the 6-12 month period and the selected proposal will see a workshop on the topic of Enhancing Freshwater Monitoring through Earth Observation held in Stirling in June 2017. Alongside the call for workshop, the IUKWC also requested applications for funding under its Senior and Junior Researcher Exchange Schemes. The high level of applications and amount funding requested resulted in the Management Board deciding to fund five exchanges under this first call, instead of the originally envisaged two. At the time of writing these exchanges are underway with visitors in the UK and India. Initial feedback form participants has been good with a number highlighting direct benefits for future planned collaborations. The IUKWC’s User Engagement Initiatives focus on translating the results of India-UK science into policy/operational practice. An on-line survey was run amongst the Member of the Open Network to help design the initial User Engagement Initiative which is timetabled to take place over coming months. We see this approach of engaging the science community in the design, as well as delivery, of the Centre’s activities as an important way of ensuring the support provided by the IUKWC results in sustainable benefits for researchers. Through supporting a small number of Pump Priming Projects, the Centre is able to help develop early ideas into future collaborations. The projects are designed to take forward ideas or provide 5 IUKWC progress report: year 1 preparatory groundwork for future Centre activities. One unforeseen area of activities for the Centre in Year One resulted from addition funding made available by NERC in early 2017 which allowed support to be provided to two extra Pump Priming Project – the ideas for which arose at the Pune workshop. The project are delivering benefits for the Centre in the form of online webinars and will result in IUKWC Briefs on “The development of inclusive and stakeholder-led hydro-climatic services in India” and “Current opportunities and challenges in developing hydroclimatic services in the Himalayas.” Underpinning all of the IUKWC’s activities are a series of Communication Platforms and activities. The last twelve months has seen the development and launch of the Centre’s website as a central hub for information, the creation of a corporate identity for the Centre and an active engagement with the IUKWC community though social media. Further develop of online collaboration tools was made possible by the additional NERC funding and we look forward to seeing these launched soon to further engage the research community and support collaboration. In closing our foreword to this first IUKWC Annual Report, we take this opportunity to express sincere gratitude to MoES and NERC for supporting what has been a very busy and successful first year of activity. We also thank the hundreds of water scientists and stakeholders from across India and the UK who have engaged in the IUKWC over the last 12 months, without their support and voluntary engagement the Centre would not function. We are confident the Centre is already providing tangible benefits to these communities and, in light of the levels of demand that we have observed in year one, we look forward to growing the breadth, depth and effectiveness of IUKWC activities in the coming years. In doing so we will ensure the Centre facilitates an increased impact and sustainable legacy for joint India-UK water science.

Item Type: Publication - Report
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Directors, SCs
Rees (from October 2014)
Funders/Sponsors: NERC, Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), India
Additional Keywords: India-UK Water Centre
NORA Subject Terms: Hydrology
Related URLs:
Date made live: 19 Jan 2021 13:20 +0 (UTC)

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