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03 Edition
Sept 2021

WOW  LEADERS  SPEAK

Here are memorable excerpts from the meeting of WOW Edition #18

I visited India 18 months ago just before the Covid breakup. I got to experience Bangalore and Hyderabad and see the amazing efficiency with which you operate. We do feel our relationship with WOWAF is very important as we look at how we can advance these solutions that are in existence today.

- Mary Eggert

 

The United Nations got this concept going 30 years ago saying don’t think of fresh water or clean water. It’s all water! If you look at water availability you have to look at all the waste water and how you can recycle it back to drinking water standards. Technologies are there and there are communities already doing it. But we don’t know what they are doing. These barriers are slowly breaking down. We have to have platforms like GWW and WOWAF to get people connected. Otherwise, we’ll keep doing it the same old way and complain about the water crisis, and lay the blame at the Government’s door.

- Raj Rajaram

 

There are a lot of solutions. Instead of trying to build new solutions we can engage on the conversation with some of the existing solution providers and try to enable and synthesise solutions. What’s amazing is that I always hear problems but now I’m able to see the solutions.

- Ganesh Shankar

WOW  MEMBERS  SPEAK

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

 

Bottled Water Is 3,500 Times More Harmful Than Tap Water

- Hari Haran

 

Very true!! These bottles in sea, as rightly written in the article, will be more visible than fish! As responsible citizens can we take a pledge –

a) Not to use water purifiers at home

b) Not to use bottled water anywhere!!

- Suresh Pai

 

Using no purifier is also not a viable solution. People should have healthy alternatives. Avoiding bottled water is surely possible.

- Hari Haran

Make use of waste water

I am an architect and interior designer. In some of my apartment projects, I am hoping to make use of wastewater in a reuse loop.

Here is a link. 

 

Normal 25 litre bucket would do the job.

- Murali Anur

Fitting it nicely in a space matters. I tried the old drinking water bottle long back, but later stopped as we needed to find space to keep it. Also, the tank walls grow to be filled with algae. Now I connect it back to the sump tank with a small pipe and a water purifier in a loft area. A tap is provided at the sink for filtered water. Reject water goes back to the sump. You could think of a small pump, to draw out the rejected water to normal water plumbing lines.

- Neel Mathews

 

The solution depends on the space you have in the house. In my home we had taken a long pipe to the utility space, collected it in a bucket and used the water for washing.

- Murali Anur

Yes, space is very important. Also, if the plastic allows sunlight to filter, there is a possibility of algae growth on the inner walls of the translucent pipe. 

- Neel Mathews

Solar Energy

Here is a story of utilisation of solar energy in Scorpio apartments, Pune. Wonderful example for emulating in any apartment. 

- B. S Mamatha

I have a similar arrangement at my place and export approximately 20 units per day to BESCOM. I commissioned it at the end January 2020.

- Vinod Kumar

Traditional Water Filtration

Reverse bottle, pebbles, coarse sand, activated carbon, fine sand and fine mesh....  Traditional water filtration method taught in wilderness survival techniques.

- B S Mamtha

Nice challenge. I'll try, too. 

- Neel Mathews

Comparison with the US

I concur with Dr. Raj Rajaram when he says we are all working in Silos. Deployment of even simple implementable suggestions are not reaching a broad spectrum of people. E.g., Owning of RWH practice by every Apartment complex in spite of the best efforts of leaders at WOW Action Group Apartments, due to various factors like: Apathy towards the concept; self-centred questions like What is in it for me?; often not knowing whom to approach for a right solution at optimum cost; and money constraints needlessly posed by Resident welfare associations who ignore the massive reduction in operating costs that arise from a one-time investment.

 

Technical solutions offered by GWW are extremely good. They seem to be targeting big ticket clients whereas our needs in Indian cities and among water-users have much to do with smaller requirements at the local levels of an Apartment or a standalone office. One reason could be we have more high-rise buildings in the residential sector whereas in the US, the high rise culture is more in office space.

 

Some of GWWs tech solutions may be readily adaptable in our Industrial sector. There seems to be no law today for Industry to prove that they are using recycled water at least partly for their internal use, whereas, of late, some State Pollution Control Boards are insisting that residential complexes use recycled water for Toilet flushing, which no doubt offers huge potential to save fresh water.

- U V Sitapati Rao

You’re right on the high-rise twist. But there’s little in comparison. India’s challenge on water is far, far grimmer. And it’s easy to be lost in the shorter term needs of business that solution providers pursue at the transactional level, while losing sight of the need to create markets. The latter needs patience and a long-term view.

- Hari Haran

Rainwater harvesting can serve the needs of water for about 3-4 months while a good grey water reuse system for flushing toilets works 24hrs/ 365 days. Additionally, grey water doesn’t need to be treated before use for flushing toilets. If it is treated and reused, it enhances the life of pipelines.

 

Even Rainwater harvesting, if done for directly recharging groundwater tables, does not require any filtration system. The compacted soil substrate serves as a natural filter before the Rainwater percolates to the groundwater tables. What is the cost of a setup for purifying grey water and black water?

 

We have to have our own home-grown solutions. There is no point in having a complicated technology solution which is difficult to manage. That is one of the reasons for STPs to fail in many of the apartment complexes and gated communities. We require systems to work with minimal monitoring that will minimise usage of water with minimum costs (costs include cost of installing and the costs of running). I have been doing this for the last 15 years without any problem.

- V K Saxena

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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.