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14 Edition
Dec 2021

WOW  LEADERS  SPEAK

(Here are memorable excerpts from the meeting of TechTalk #7)

 

"In the various villages that we work at in Pakistan, our specialists travel to the communities. The residents of these settlements are impoverished,  illiterate, sick, and without possessions. Within 10-15 days, our excerpts determine the water quality and use technology to create filters for them.  We educate people and teach them how to do it. I started with 13 filters in the beginning and now have 56. I believe that by now, somebody would  have figured out how to use that technology and would have begun creating more. We are happy if others can take the technology and do it where  ever they want to.”

- Abdul Khurshid Bhatti, CEO, Association for Humanitarian Development, Hyderabad, Sind, Pakistan.  

 

"The entire filtration system is constructed out of ceramic. We've given local craftspeople the chance to make these pots. Water is filtered with the  use of bio sand filtration. This is plenty to support and feed a family. The bio sand filter and pottery approach is being pursued by at least 10-15  different firms, However scalability is a challenge. Abdul Bhatti is doing excellent work. I'm wondering how we can use this as a foundation for  attracting funders and ensuring sustainability. With all of their efforts, for example, if the pot is brittle and breaks down, it will be impossible to  continue. Perhaps another substance might be used to strengthen the body. A small handle with micro holes in the inside core prevents heavy  objects and turbid substances from passing through."

- Chandrasekharan J, Watsan.in  

 

"Technology is designed to be shared, and we want to be able to produce in local pathways with local labour as much as possible to fully localise it.  This is important for the local community. It points to local routes. That's how we'll be able to make it more effective. This is a global solution!"

- David Pong, Singapore  

 

“David's and my products use somewhat different technology. Both are concerned with keeping prices down. And the result is, for the most part,  same. The removal of heavy objects and other items is an extra benefit in things I offer. The goal of the RO membrane is to totally eliminate any  pathogen material. Both may be washed and reused several times.”

- Chandrasekharan J, Chennai  

 

“We need to get people together and create solution providers in different places so that the technology or treatment system can operate in as many  places as it is needed. Our cities are less than 2% of the landmass with a 150,000 square kilometres or so that all of India’s cities claim. The  conventional companies into water filtration stick to cities for it is easier for them to focus on consumers in concentrated areas. You are brave  entrepreneurs who want to address the need of the rural folk who are spread over 70 percent of the country’s geography. So the market is spread  thin. Half of the country's population lives in the 2 percent area, while the other half that you address are in 50 percent of the country’s landmass!  Worser, the typical conventional business companies want to to sell those dreadful RO systems. They want fix-all’s as solutions. Chlorine dosing is  a challenge when you are working in the villages for the dosage varies in every region, and it has to be at the discretion of the water expert or  solution provider. No so in cities. If people like you who are struggling with Point of Use Filtration Systems that reach remote areas, you are doing something that is brave: even a first-year business student will tell you that you are bucking every basic business principle of marketing. You are dealing with challenges and concerns that defy every marketing rule.”

- Hari Haran, WOW Exec Member

WOW  MEMBERS  SPEAK

Vulnerability as a planet

It may not be about water but the implications are obvious to the discerning.

- Vinodkumar N Saxena, WOW Core Member

 

Intense Floods and Inundation Problems

A clear departure from 30-year annual rainfall patterns for Bengaluru shows an increase in rainfall while the number of rain-days has been reducing. This means more intense rain-hours. Bengaluru gets all its rains in about 70 effective hours out of 8640 hours in a year. No surprise that we have intense floods and inundation problems. Harvesting rain as they do in The Netherlands is one good solution that citizens can adopt to avoid flooding.

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Value of Water

This photo needs to be put up in every apartment complex for understanding the gravity of the situation by those who don't want to practice RWH even at this critical juncture where the quantum of intensity of rainfall has increased sharply, and flooding has become a more common occurrence. Tankers supply will no longer be available a decade from now because wells would have dried up by then, Individual borewells would have dried up & Municipal supply will jump from one week to one month period. Then the next photo will be men in Suits carrying water pots with them to fetch a vessel of water!!! Look at the second picture of ladies in a well-to-do apartment complex, fetching pails of water. Money cannot buy water.

- U V Sitapati Rao, WOW Core Member

These are extracts of conversations of WOW members in the Core Executive Group. Add your comments, views

- Satish Mallya, WOW Member  

U R A N I U M    I N    G R O U N D W A T E R    I N    K A R N A T A K A    V I L L A G E S

Chemical examination of groundwater in 73 Karnataka villages indicates high hazardous levels of uranium content in 78% of the areas. 

The pollution was linked to natural causes rather than man-made activities, according to research done by the Divecha Centre for Climate Change at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and the Centre for Advanced Research in Environmental Radioactivity at Mangalore University. Researchers studied 73 communities in the state's eastern region for the study. They discovered uranium concentrations of more than 30 micrograms per litre in 57 communities and more than 60 micrograms per litre in 48 villages.

 

In one hamlet each in Tumakuru and Chitradurga districts, five in Kolar, and seven in Chikkaballapur, scientists discovered uranium concentration above 1,000 micrograms per litre. An article published in Current Science reported the findings. Uranium poisoning can cause serious health concerns. Dr. Subrata Das, an internal medicine specialist and diabetologist at Sakra World Hospital, stated as an impartial expert that detrimental consequences are decided by the amount of uranium consumed. According to the researchers, none of the borewells from which the water was taken were near "nuclear plants or urban waste disposal routes.

T I D A L    F L O O D I N G   G I V E S    N I G H T M A R E S    T O    C O A S T A L     R E S I D E N T S    

I N    E R N A K U L A M

Sea level rise and its consequences are clearly seen throughout Kerala.​

Flooding does not occur as a result of excessive rain. We're experiencing tidal flooding on a scale we've never seen before in Kumarakom. Not just in Kumarakom, but also in Kochi. Is this the effect of glacial and polar ice melt driven by global warming on sea level rise? We are now far more aware of the consequences than ever before. Take a look at how the situation has changed over the previous 20 years. Consider what it would be like in the next ten years by 2030.

W H A T    I S    A    ‘S P O N G E    C I T Y’    I N    W A T E R    M A N A G E M E N T  ?

Sponge city is a novel urban development type that aims to improve flood control while also strengthening ecological infrastructure and drainage systems. In 2000, Chinese academics suggested this hypothesis. This notion was recognised as "urbanism policy" by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and State Council in 2014. This technology aids in the reduction of urban floods, the urban heat island effect, and the scarcity of water supplies. By absorbing and retaining rainwater and utilising it to decrease floods, it also benefits the ecology of regions and wildlife. Sponge city policies are nature-based solutions that capture, store, and filter water using natural landscapes. This approach was inspired by an under- standing of traditional systems of climate adaptability, particularly in the monsoon area.

 

COMMENDATION AWARDS

The WOW Action Forum hosts Commendation Awards every quarter and bestows the                                                                          on all Big Water-Savers who save and so ‘donate’ water to the city by consuming less fresh water in the interest of making water-positive cities.

                                                                   

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Alt. Tech Foundation is a not-for-profit, for-industry Foundation for

(i) producing sustainability managers and leaders,
(ii) providing green management skill sets,

(iii) hosting city-wide campaigns for citizen collective action to save water & energy,

(iv) purposing research for city infrastructure.

WOW Action Forum is a globally pioneering effort for bringing collective private action to save very large quantities of water at apartments, at Industry, at tech parks, or hotels and hospitals or malls and other such buildings. The 2021 mission is set to save 1000 Cr lites with community-led action. This alone will bring a saving of 236 Cr in electricity bills for the city, and a reduction in carbon emission of nearly 300,000 tonnes equivalent.