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25 Edition
April 2022


(Here are thought-provoking excerpts from the meeting of TechTalk #13)

At the TechTalk series held on 2 April this lively exchange took place. Insights :

I come from Switzerland, but I was born in Algeria. A country where water is very scarce and is still scarce today. It's funny because 40 years ago I remember my mother and my grandmother feeling thankful when they secured water. And unfortunately, today we are looking at this event from the past as something that may rise again in the near future. So it means that water is a precious resource that we have to secure forever, not for a period of time. I'm sure in India you are sensitive to the question on how we can make better use and manage water. So droople is a start-up that exists for 4 years now connecting 100 billion water assets on the last mile where vendors and operators actually are blind and cannot really assess their performance, maintenance needs and how they can actually bring water and energy efficiency on that last line.

-  Ramzi Bouzerda

Challenge of Hot and Cold Water

Compared to the quality of water you have in Switzerland and in India, does our quality of water have any effect on the functioning of the sensors used?

- Upendra Raval

Yes, actually at some point if you have a lot of sediment inside the water, our sensor may be blocked. So most of the time we install small grids that filter those big sediments prior to going inside the sensor because of the hardness. Hardness is a problem most of the time when the calcium is stagnating. So they are installed under the faucets or in a place where water is flowing. We have not really faced the problem related to hardness, even though in Switzerland in some parts of the country we have very high hardness inside water. We are not really suffering from that with our sensors.

- Ramzi Bouzerda

Regarding Legionella! For hot water you mentioned that is well taken. But I have some publications from Harvard saying that some of the cold water lines, cost and construction in the USA, Legionella were detected in 12 year old pipelines where water was not moving frequently.

- Upendra Raval

You are totally right, it's not only hot water, it's also cold water. Most of the time the hot pipe and the cold pipe are too close and if it's not insulated properly then the transfer of energy between hot and cold makes the growth of Legionella inside the cold pipes. So you're right, it's not only hot, you have to actually monitor hot and cold and it's what we do. We have iLink and 2 sensors that are installed in hot and cold in order to measure separately the stagnation of the water at point of use.

-  Ramzi Bouzerda

Piloting in India among institutions

Fascinating technology I would say Ramzi. Taken in by the detail to which you have gone into every aspect of management including gamification for school children. I wanted to know because it's really tempting me to start, to take it to the next level and start implementing somewhere in India. Can I know the ground level success of any of your clients in a certain time period? What kind of savings would they have gotten like water saving and energy saving and any other savings? I am looking at an institution which could be a Tech Park or a Mall, where there are multi tenants. Not necessarily residential areas but more commercial buildings.

- E Nandakumar, CEO of International Centre for Clean Water,

So in a commercial building you have different types of operations, maintenance tasks and issues related to water. The first one is being capable of implementing people's use for each tenant. Second one you have actual facility services that will clean those places. I think in India that the cost of labour for cleaning is cheaper than in Switzerland. That's for sure. Now those figures apply to, for example, $20 per hour for cleaning labour. So that's just to reposition this EROI in the specific context. But nonetheless, it means that you are cleaning efficiently so you can deploy appropriate resources for that mode and then use other cleaning staff for other modes. So you can better distribute your cleaning staff. You can also check what is done in the field because most of the time there is no supervisor. So you can supervise from the platform on who is doing what and if they are complying with the schedule. The schedule is your commitment with your customer right? So this is an important aspect related to compliance and audit. And finally you can enable water savings.

 Ramzi Bouzerda


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We saw the 36 recharging structures in Krishna Rao park, Bangalore to recharge ground water and avoid flooding .

- Vijayaraj Shishodya

It is an excellent idea for beautification, great in nature, cultural initiative and to avoid stepping on it.

- Neel mathews

I have a proposition for water saving, a friendly competition between Apartments (totally driven by their residents) to save water.

1. Every Apartment should publish their last 3 months CAUVERY water bill. 

2. The average would be calculated and published.

3. An announcement will be made to the residents by their Association that we will be trying to reduce our water consumption.

4. Every month the Apartments should publish their water bill and the savings will be calculated.

5. Each month the Apartments will contribute 50% of the money saved to a charity or NGO of choice, recommended by BAF.

6. In case of no change, then the amount could be calculated as average % change of all appartements x 1.5 times.

7. For those Apartments who show an increase in water bill, will pay 75% of the difference amount to the charity or NGO.

8. Every month the difference will be calculated wrt original average baseline figure. After 1 year, baseline figure will be set to last year's(12 month) average

In this way, Water saving will be encouraged and increased consumption will be penalised.

Also we would have done a service to ourselves as well as Society at Large.

Suggestions are welcome.

I am thinking of suggesting this to BAF too, for adoption across clusters in Bangalore.

- Suresh Prakash

PCB has said “Send me a list of defaulters on any of the regulations and we will take action.” Is it worth pursuing?

- Hari Haran

It should be both ways, not only penalties for defaulters will not solve the bigger problem, but rewards for good initiative/practice. I had a discussion with member secretary KSPCB last week. Board has now  decided to reward the apartment community who are responsible and implement environmental initiatives within their complex. Evaluation is based on economics factors in usage of RWH, rooftop solar , solid waste management & urban farming on Terrace etc. This is to ensure excess STP treated water & compost generated is used in house this will be a criteria for evaluation. They will be engaging 7 semester students from RV college of engineering & BMS College of engineering They will be visiting each apartment with the mobile application developed by them to evaluate with the parameters.

- Satish Mallaya

Unless the government is ruthless on Water conservation, we will end up with a situation of no water but more fine’s. Persuasive efforts will not work on water. Let the government change the law to send people who do not have RWH & STP to jail for a minimum of 30 days and see how citizens will react ?

When the government brings out law, it is the responsibility of the government to ensure that necessary infrastructure is in place. Can the government say the same thing for collecting property tax or increase in crime stating they don’t have manpower or no drivers to run KSRTC buses or take reading of the BESCOM meters and hence escape liability? It is not the responsibility of the common man to ascertain if the government has manpower or not. Let the government talk to all stakeholders and implement. If there is a shortage of manpower they need to look into simplification of jobs or automate the process which comes at a much lesser price . There must be willingness and openness .

- Suresh A Pai

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

Yettinahole water project: Not a drop at end of the pipeline after spending Rs 22,000 crore


Tribal families around the project site are living in constant fear of losing their lives and homes


On March 14, 2022, a section of the Western Ghats in Karnataka's Hassan district fell, damaging pipes and a tunnel built for the Yettinahole water project. Officials from the Karnataka Neeravari Nigam Limited (KNNL), the project's primary authors, verified the information.

In the most challenging terrain of the Western Ghats, around 2,000 tonnes of loose material tumbled down the hill and landed on nearly two kilometres of pipeline. A tunnel built for pipeline maintenance was also destroyed by the landslide.

KNNL is planning the Yettinahole diversion project as a drinking water delivery programme. With 24 thousand million cubic feet (tmc) of water carried from the depths of the Western Ghats at Yettinahole to the ridgeline of the Shiradi ghat at Sakleshpur, the government-owned firm hopes to fill 725 tanks in five districts. The water will subsequently be poured into an 873-kilometer pipeline, destroying 600 acres of woodland.

During the tunnel's construction, a massive cliff was constructed, which was damaged. According to MG Hegde, the head of the Save Netravati River movement, this was an engineering disaster. According to the expert, the precipice has a vast amount of loose soil dangerously perched on it, has no barrier, and can fall at any time.

Once-dry Vijayapura now brims with water, a testament to the transformative powers of united effort

Political will and people's participation rejuvenated the drought-prone region, offering a template to re-envision cities in the time of climate change.


Water is life. It is as simple and as basic as that. In Hindi, the point can be driven home better with the force of alliteration - jal(water) is what sustains jan(people), jameen(land), jungle(land), jungle(forest), janwar(wildlife) and cumulatively, jeevan (life).

Water supports not just human life, but also the lives of fish in lakes, migrating birds, farmers' crops and animals, as well as grass and sacred trees, one of which the Buddha obtained enlightenment under.

Water is essential for the intricate web of life that includes people, animals, plants, and billions of microorganisms. Nonetheless, significant swaths of the globe are confronted with a fast growing water shortage.

According to the Niti Aayog, by 2030, 40% of India's population would be without access to safe drinking water. Sixty crore Indians are under severe water stress, and approximately 200,000 people die each year as a result of a lack of safe drinking water. Water supply that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week has become a luxury in many cities and towns.

The over-exploitation of groundwater, which provides 48 percent of India's urban demands, is due to a shortage of piped water supply and an over-reliance on wells and borewells. Groundwater levels have decreased alarmingly in seven of India's ten most populated cities. Weak monsoons and recurrent droughts are depriving humans, crops, and animals of water in rural India.

To remove microplastics from drinking water ... just add okra?

When it comes to removing plastic microparticles from water, okra polysaccharides have been shown to be at least as effective as potentially more harmful chemicals


If you've ever eaten okra, you're aware that it may be a bit... gooey. According to current study, this quality may enable a plant chemical to be utilised in a less hazardous way of eliminating microplastics from drinking water.

Tiny bits of plastic pollution have now spread across the world's rivers, which is a terrible truth. The health repercussions of swallowing such pieces are unknown, but one hazard is that the particles may collect toxins from the environment and then transfer them on to us.

Water treatment plants commonly add chemicals known as flocculants to the water to remove plastic microparticles from municipal water sources. These produce clumps to which the particles adhere, and when the clumps are withdrawn from the water, the particles accompany them.

Unfortunately, flocculants like polyacrylamide can be hazardous in some circumstances. Dr. Rajani Srinivasan and colleagues at Texas' Tarleton State University turned at chemicals taken from many food-grade plants for a safer option.


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.



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.

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