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Edition #36
March 2024

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From the WOW Desk ...

When Will We Ever Learn?

All of February saw a flurry of reports in Bangalore – and I am sure this city is no exception—on the severe challenge of water ahead in the summer months. Bangalore is not half as poorly placed as say a Chennai or a Surat. All three cities receive about a meter or 1000 mm of rainfall. But Bangalore receives it over 8 months starting March, while Surat gets the same quantum over four sharp, short months starting June. Chennai’s monsoon starts in November and ends about this time when the monsoon winds return to the Arabian Sea and the indian Ocean for a period of 10-12 weeks of brooding before they return with velocity to the mainland at Kerala and then in Mumbai around early June.


If you look at these reports of February and if you have no memory at all, you would think this water crisis in Bangalore or any other city is new, and alarming. Look at this one in Deccan Herald Tanker Prices Surge. Or this one, BBMP, BWSSB to soon cap water tanker prices in city – Is this possible at all?! This report makes even less sense, and is patently absurd: Revitalise borewells, dig new ones. The Dy CM in Karnataka suddenly discovers and declares that water supply is 'a big problem' in Bengaluru and needs ‘a major solution’. To all of you reading this, this is not reassuring at all that politicians bring such stunning ignorance, and simply don’t have the time to listen to the sage voices of dozens [if not hundreds] of experts who know what needs to be done on the demand-side of the solution.. It won’t be surprising that if a declaration of this kind from the Dy CM is followed by a knee-jerk decision to allot and provide a few thousands of crores to either revive the Yettina Hole project to bring water from about 300 km away from and 2000 feet below the city’s altitude, or to stake out a few more thousands of crores on the Hogganekal project to bring water to the city

What does it take to make these politicians realise that Bangalore does not need any such new source of long-distance river water?! That those rivers cannot supply any water sustainably for long since their flow is dwindling for other reasons of forest depletion in those basins? That the city does not need any more borewells and yet can meet the needs of water! That the city has to work, instead, on stopping the use of existing borewells, and not contemplate creating new ones!

A WOW Forum member sends across this link with a rhetorical headline that seeks to grab attention, Whitefield Residents Pay for Water and Wait for Supply.

How do we get apartment owners to snap out of this delusion that Governments can actually supply water, or how they can continue to buy water by the tanker for the rest of their lives?! When will we ever learn that the solution lies under your nose, in your hands if you live in an apartment. You could be a 1000-flats apartment, or a compact 20-flats apartment, the solutions exist, and at costs that you recover within 2 to 3 years of your implementing.

Other WOW Forum members like Suresh Pai and his co-owners of flats at an apartment in Yelahanka have shown the way with some smart thinking. Another member, Ganesh Shanbhag, did his share of trials and errors before sorting out smartly the challenge of waste water in his 440-flats apartment to the south of the city, and today happily claims 100% reclaim-reuse of waste water in his apartment that until recently purchased nearly a quarter million litres of fresh water every year, and paid nearly 90 lac to Rs 1 crore every year as cost of water. Today he has helped his apartment slash its purchase cost by at least Rs 40-50 lac every year!

Another villa enclave hosting 500 homes to the southeast of Bangalore near Anekal has installed a set of very unusual solutions that helps them harvest about 50 million litres, treat-and-reuse another 25 million litres, while some simple smart measures in what they purchased as fixtures helped them to drop annual demand of a staggering 25 million litres. That tots up to 100 million litres a year, or about 300,000 litres of conventional water demand! The financial saving is about Rs 50 lac a year. But what is more priceless is the solid assurance of water availability that the entire enclave gains for the very long term.

Is it for want of solutions? Is it for want of willingness? Week after week, the WOW Action Forum hosts experts – 155 such people from across 4 continents and over 3 years by the last count – and we have very few wanting to even attend! Barring the few genuine believers and doers, these voices are lost in the wilderness and oblivion of greed and ignorance.

Any thoughts on how we can shake people up into acting?!


Hari Haran Chandra



To every reader of Water Voices…

To all speakers, participants, mentors, enablers.. No matter how little you think you have managed to achieve. it is important to recognize and celebrate all the changes you have made happen. 

All you have to do is to look at the rich archive of video extracts and you will see the effort that Tej in the last year, and others in the previous years have made, to extract the right content, offer them the right headlines and host them -- unfailingly, every week. The minor miracle is that we have all accomplished this with nearly nothing as financial support from anyone.  

Share with us Your Honest Take? 

Will you help us have an honest look at what we should set as goals? What we should try to do better this year? How can you help us go about this?

Can you write in, share your thoughts on these 4 simple steps: 


1. Can you list out goals you think WOW should drive this year?

2. What are those that no longer reflect the direction that WOW should take?

3. What are those goals you think we were unable to complete last year but still should seek to achieve?

4. Can you order those goals by importance and the impact it will have?

Upcoming Events

Make World of Water Your Cause!

Water Voices March 2024 is here. This is your monthly source of news and updates on all things at AltTech.. Send us your thoughts? We need to learn from you in a way that resonates with the good sense and sensibility of all  readers – concerned citizens, dedicated volunteers, generous donors, and potential supporters.

Your Calendar of WOW AF meetings in February 2024

01st March- WOW #154 Global
Water Stories : Healing Earth's blood

By: Zach Weiss

Water Voices keeps you informed and engaged on the lively conversations at WOW Action Forum, and the inspiring effort at RainReach in schools for the underrepresented. This edition brings you compelling stories, excellent initiatives, and the impact of your contributions. Together, we can make a meaningful difference and address the water-related challenges that lie ahead.

Rich Insights From Water Leaders

Watch Now: Key Highlights from February WOW Meetings

Follow us on :

  • YouTube


WOW #152 Global.jpg

1. Challenges to Microbial Remediation Viability | Becky Sawale

2.  Fundamentals of Biological Treatment | Becky Sawale

3.  Rethinking Wastewater Treatment | Julia Baribeau

4. Unlocking Biorefining Six Challenges | Becky Sawale

5. The world over, waste water treatment is booming. | Upendra Raval

WOW Chennai #30  #153.jpg

1. Bio Remediation for Cleanup of Lake | Gopal Sane

2.  Diatom Growth Supplements Assists Process | Gopal Sane

3.   Nature's has inbuild Mechanism to Maintain Clean Water | Gopal Sane

4.   Water Treatment Case Study | Gopal Sane

5. Best Practices for Crop Cultivation | Gopal Sane

WOW Highlights

RainReach : Inspiring Children and Teachers into Water Action

What is RainReach? 

Rain Reach is a program of eco-education for school-going children.

​Our Mission is Education of children through RainReach to ensure water conservation becomes a habit and solves the water problem by the next generation.  We have here in this edition - and every month — lots of picture stories to present the story that’s unfolding every month. 

Our mission is also to take Education on water for children, for adults, for technical people, in water and in technologies for treating water or harnessing water…


How can children learn how to save sensibly, how to recycle, harvest and manage the water cycle. How can we build a generation of water-wise young Indians? How can our schools and children inspire other neighbouring buildings, homes and offices. RainReach guides with constant contact and help for the children. 

We take to schools simple measures that help them understand how we need to treasure this precious liquid. As children move into their lives as adults, water will need to be entirely differently addressed.

It encourages learning-by-doing for kids of age 12-16 years with support from teachers and water industry volunteers or Water Mentors. 

We aim to reach 50 schools in Bangalore. That is a start. But that is a large and formidable initiative and will depend on how we all work together – water mentors, faculty, and children.

February is the 3rd month of lean or no rains… The dependence on borewells becomes high.. Several newspaper reports in late February raised the usual alarm on the water crisis coming up in summer. The summer in Bangalore lasts typically 6 to 7 weeks starting February. We should have our first rains by end March, despite climate change, or BECAUSE of climate change and the urban heat island effect which induces higher precipitation within a city. February was spent on the preparatory for the installations of the digital systems in the schools and with events that brought water champions like Murthy Gangappa and others to the schools. The February Update is presented here.


Check this fascinating set of pictures and caption stories... You will then want to view the videos -- helpfully subtitled -- of what teachers and students say of RainReach and our interventions... Inspiring a new way...

Feb 17 - A soft session at Yashwantpura Gov. High School

Before the soft session at the school, Head Mistress Mrs Prabha N and other staff members of Yashwantpura High School interacted with RainReach Coordinator Mahesh to plan soft sessions at the school for the year.
Mrs. Azra, HM of Yashwantpura High School, set the context for RainReach’s programme.
‘Water Murthy’ presided over this session, just as he has in other schools in the last few weeks. Gangappa Murthy brings nearly 25 years of work on water treatment systems, softeners, challenges of hardness in water, and options that avoid RO risks for drinking water.  
Students listened attentively and actively engaged in the discussion that followed the presentation.
Water Murthy presents a chart to the students. His presentation at RainReach illustrates water sources that are safest for drinking. Students observed the chart attentively and asked questions to clarify their understanding.
What is pH value of water and how do you determine it without much as cost? What is ‘hard’ water and what are solutions to make them ‘soft’? What is TDS or TSS? Water Murthy helps senior students of the High School understand the uniqueness of water and simple ways of making water safe to drink.
Water Murthy invited Grade 9 student, Charan to set down a summary of learning for the class. These sessions engage the students, and leave them with some lasting impressions on how to manage water better.
These Water Mentor Sessions engage students and spark curiosity on water quality, on harvesting water, on building independence in water solutions.
The hallmark of every RainReach programme in every school is the Water Pledge that students take. The impact is high. The message is embedded in these young minds. Every school secures at least one soft session every month, and therefore the Water Pledge is taken once a month.
Selfies have replaced autographs for kids… Here they are seen taking selfies with the Water guru.

Feb 20 - A soft session at Indian Primary School, JP Nagar

Mr. Parth Sarati, the Headmaster of Indian Public School, welcomed Mr. Neel Mathews and Team RainReach. He introduced AltTech Foundation and set the context for the RainReach Session.
This Co-ed School in JP Nagar hosts nearly a thousand students every year. RainReach is looking at a dramatic reduction in their water demand from about 5 million litres a year to 2 million litres with the unique set of RainReach solutions. Work should commence soon as the School Management offers us Clearance.  
Guest speaker Mr. Mathew actively engaged students with stories woven around rainwater harvesting and other water-related aspects. Students participated enthusiastically. Throughout the session lasting over two hours, they listened, asked, and spoke on the subject.
Akash of Class 09 asks Neil Mathews a question at end of the session.
Vidya of Class 09 asks Neil Mathews a question at end of the session.
Sumit Gowda of Class 09 asks Neil Mathews a question at end of the session.
Pallavi of Class 08 offers her response to the speaker’s thoughts. Amazing how students so little as trigger to connect with urban concerns of water management.

Feb 18 - RainReach Seeks Expert Help on Personalised Adaptive Learning on Net Zero Water

Anirudh Sharma [above checking the rainwater filtration system; and below interacting with senior school students] visited a couple of RainReach schools at the invitation of AltTech Foundation. He is an expert at creating Personalised Adaptive Learning systems. The intent is to see how solution approaches of Net Zero Water can be made part of an interactive learning module that can help to accelerate our reach and communications on water solutions.

It’s great to have Cohort Africa!

Foundation Green launched a new Cohort in Africa to much enthusiasm and zest for learning

It is appropriate that I write this even as the COP 28 is on in Dubai. Mainland Africa is full of hope and young aspirants as the continent’s 54 nations gears up to meet the challenge of water, energy and climate change over the next decade.

From Africa’s current population of 1.4 billion – about the same as India’s – it is bracing up to another one billion people being added in the next 25 years to 2050. Africa needs management of energy resources and water critically if it has to ‘survive’ this generation and next. 


How can Africa’s new generation of trained professionals make the effort to enlarge the green footprint across the continent? When Dubai-based Caroline ‘Care’ Fernandes of The Krusallis heard of what Foundation Green offers as hands-on learning, she expressed interest in driving and shaping a Cohort Africa, for she saw the potential the series of Online Courses hold for mainland Africa. Little did I realise the speed at which she could influence Nigeria-based Ibiso Ikiroma-Owiye and others at The Krusallis to galvanise young African students and working professionals to join Cohort Africa, in less than month!

Ibiso is a Radio Presenter, heads as Executive Director ‘Grassroots to Global Sustainable Development Network’, a youth-led organization in Niger Delta, Nigeria, providing solar lamps for students in marginalized coastal communities in her region. Ibiso is also a marine researcher and mangrove conservationist, and has galvanised young Nigerians to plant over 10,000 mangrove seedlings in the deforested coastal communities of Rivers State with the Save Nigeria Mangroves Foundation and Centre for Environment Human Right Development since 2020.

Caroline herself brings a multitude of talents. She is a self-styled ‘Learning Architect’, an ‘Ecosystems Gardener’, a ‘Quantum Coach’ among many other things. She is also the brand ambassador for several diversity & inclusion initiatives including being the founder of a 5-year-old inclusive community #VibhaforInclusion that offers 2500+ people globally, a safe space for human beings to connect, learn and grow through the ecosystem. 

Caroline and Ibiso quickly got into the act, to invite young professionals across mainland Africa and other parts of the world, and excited them to see the powerful narrative they could build with many vibrant youngsters across the vast continent, who are full of aspirations, who are trained to be a variety of things from financial inclusion managers running microfinance, to those who have studied Ecology or History or International Studies, among many other things.

As the idea of creating this first of many cohorts evolved rapidly over recent weeks, Caroline reached out to Ibiso. They both agreed to work on it. And so was born this programme that now spans Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Ghana, India and Dubai. There will be many more young Africans from a host of other countries who will join the programme as we ring in 2024.

It took Ibiso and the team, with Cephas Amoaior and other passionate members a couple of weeks to cobble together this team of excellent young Africans for this first Cohort. In the meetings and chats we have had on the Cohort, I see they are full of hope, and eager to learn. As Caroline said, “This is not conceptual. Concepts can be got from the web world.”

As many as 45 people have signed up for this programme – students and working professionals. You can see that it takes time and effort to stitch a programme like this, with an eye to advancing solutions of this kind and scaling impact in each of these countries with these members of Cohort Africa. Says Caroline, “If we can take these solutions into our homes, offices, and into policy at city and state levels, it will inspire Africa, for it touches our lives, and the learning helps us address things that impact us every day – like water or energy. We understand solutions, and we bring our own inventive thinking to problem-solving.”

Beyond these sessions, the modules of Foundation Green will offer a deeper dive into approaches, solutions. And those are available at Foundation Green.

One of the students who is part of the Cohort [and their many responses are listed in the section that follows this one], said “Until I got to participate myself in the Water MDP I did not realise the full importance of the hands-on, practical, learn-by-doing approaches that Foundation Green offers. There is no ‘boring’ stuff on the bad news around us, or the complex language that the UN or COP employs without actually telling us what we should do on ground, in our homes and workplaces!”

Well, yes, it is about leveraging sustainability and driving long-term growth for a company, or a community, in the post-pandemic world. But it is more than that. This Cohort Africa, one hopes, is the first of a series of 3-week programmes and a collaborative mission with Dubai-based Krusallis. It is evolving even as we speak. I see that it brings creative, innovative and sustainable solutions that offer enormous business potential for anyone wanting to work as a water entrepreneur or water manager.

Foundation Green is a coming together of framework designers, course visionaries, facilitators, content designers and community leaders. What I like most about it, is that the user-friendly online modules, intense interactions, and live assignments, all combine to give every participant the chance to solve real-life situations around the crippling challenge of water.

The entire cohort of nearly 50 young professionals [see the thumb sketch that follows, of each of the participants and the inspiring aspirations they articulate!

As they listen to the facilitators who share their experience of decades of work on water and watershed management, each of these participants is beginning to see that water is not about water at all, but that is about water management. It is startling to realise that the water crisis is exactly the same everywhere—from coastal Freetown in Sierra Leone, to Lagos in Nigeria on the Gulf of Guinea, to Harare at 5000 feet above sea level or Kadoma [3000 ft] in Zimbabwe or Nairobi [6000 feet] in Kenya or Mombasa [at sea level] to the Southeastern tip of Kenya. You and I know, dear reader, it is much the same across India and her hundreds of cities.

Foundation Green is about developing a nuanced understanding of the three dimensions of sustainability: society, environment and economy. It is about building a vocabulary, and a vision that explains how to create a ‘business culture’ of sustainability. 

Come. Join us. Discover how to demonstrate the value of impactful investments of time, passion and of the invaluable gains you can bring to your community, to your housing neighbourhood, to the commercial building or IT park you work in, or a hotel you can help save water and money! 

Foundation Green helps you plot and implement with a step-by-step approach a sustainable business model, with every solution backed up by Strategies that help students and working professionals of planning, finance, ecology, environment action with these online programmes that are ideal for those seeking a future-conscious approach to doing good and doing well for themselves.

The programme will help every participant gain strategies that will help achieve business goals while it deepens our commitment to sustainability. Anyone aspiring to be a Sustainability or Green manager, will learn to relate to the stories of such green initiatives. Now with Foundation Green, I realise what I myself really wanted is such practical solutions. Looking forward to more of the fantastic sessions of learning that Foundation Green offers.

Foundation Green.

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

(i) Hosting city-wide campaigns for citizen collective action to save water & energy, 
(ii) Producing green managers and leaders

(iii) Arming and equipping schoolchildren with water practices of the future.

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. 

WOW is a vibrant community of concerned citizens, volunteers, and supporters who share a common goal – to safeguard our precious water resources for future generations. By becoming a WOW member, you can actively participate in our initiatives, engage in meaningful discussions, and contribute to practical solutions for water-related challenges.


Don't miss this opportunity to be part of a movement that can truly change the world!

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