By Collins Yakubu-Hammer

The Nigerian Institution of Water Engineers (NIWE) has called for the application of data and technologies for effective integrated water resources management to maximize economy and social benefits for the country.

The President of NIWE, Mrs Chinyere Igwegbe, made the call in her address of welcome at the 5th NIWE International Water Conference on Monday in Abuja.

The Conference with the theme, “Application of Data and Technology For Effective Integrated Water Resource Management”, was organised by NIWE with support from the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, NiMet, NIHSA, UNESCO and other stakeholders.

Igwegbe said that the Institution would continue to actualise the mission and vision of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) by providing high ethical standards, service delivery, and professional development of members in the water and sanitation sector.

According to her, the global scenario indicated that water demand outweighed the supply, especially in the sub-Saharan region.

She said that the importance of data gathering and application was directly connected with success and cannot be overemphasized.

“Information technology is technical artifacts that facilitate stakeholders’ communications in supporting decision making in a complex societal connection like ours.

”This is more so for the water sector where limited water resources are threatened by climate change and growing competition for resources among sectors, regions, and countries.

“We found data and information system in water resources as public information for design, construction, and operation of different projects with regards to their environmental impact that would be ascertained.

“This three-day conference provides an opportunity to renew contacts and discuss problems of mutual interests among conglomerates of professionals.

“In the spirit of true cooperation and collaborations, we in the water division of NSE are proud to be involved in changing the narratives in the water sector, joining in an action-oriented effort in solving problems relating to water development,” Igwegbe said.

In his own remark, the President of NSE, Mr Tasiu  Wudil, said the theme for the three days conference was apt.

He said that it was important to apply technology for effective water management as we all say that ‘water is life.

“Water Resources Management is the process of planning, developing, and managing water resources in terms of both quantity and quality.

”It includes all institutions, infrastructure, incentives, and information systems that support and guard water management.

“More so, integrated water management is a process that promotes the coordinated development and management of water, land and related resources in order to maximise economy and social welfare in all equitable manner.

“Water management helps in developing efficient irrigation practices for a betterment of agriculture in the country.

”There is what we call Water, Food and Energy nexus; they co-exist together,” Wudil said.

According to him, if water was not managed properly, it will affect others.

“It is therefore important to have adequate data and effective management; and that is where the deployment of ICT comes in.

”Again, we must apply engineering principles and processes to enhance effective management of water,”he added.

Wudil, however, urged NIWE to also promote Water, Sanitation and Hygiene(WASH) Programme, for safe water, toilet and good hygiene for a healthy living across the country.

Meanwhile, Mr Magashi Bashir, Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria Integrated Water Resources Management Commission said water was vital for human survival, health, dignity and development.

According to him, the world’s freshwater resources were under increasing pressure that necessitated the need for coordination and collaboration among individual sectors.

“Integrated Water Resources Management as a framework is a common sense approach to water management and development.

“Since the Johannesburg Conference on water supply and sustainable development in 2002, the demands for change that lead to more effective, efficient and sustainable water resource management had deepened,” Bashir said.

NAN reports that the conference that attracted relevant stakeholders from the different spheres of engineering had as its high point an award of excellence to Bashir. (NAN)

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