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04 Edition
Oct 2021


Here are memorable excerpts from the meeting of WOW Edition #19

The solar industry produces panels that have a 20-25 year life. They make their money substantially over a long period of time. If you look at the high valued solar companies today they all work as IPPs - Independent power producers. And that's how they make the money. When they make the end product something that they monatise and not the equipment itself. That's precisely how this industry can really make it. It can't happen if I put in a proposition of a million dollars. It completely throws it out of the table. But if I say as a plan I have captive water consumer and I need a heavy investment and this is how I'm going to monetise it on daily or monthly bases and that's how the cash flow is going to happen. That's the only time the project becomes financially well.

- Navkaran Singh Bagga


Normally we spend a lot of money on wood because we fall ill and they spend a lot of money on washing their clothes. I took this total cost of this and said I can save you this much, so pay me for the service. It's a completely different way of looking at it in financing. So the conventional way of what we costing may not work at all. If we can get the government involved where they are taking people of grid and they want to give drinking water and add the cost of piping and filtering water. Maybe we can present that cost to the government because in India the government supplies water. And if they have a program for this we can switch it around in parts of areas where there isn't sufficient power or water we might have a good start.

- Ranganath Krishna


You take a bottle of water, the bottle of water has plastics in it. You drink from the tap, it has pharmaceuticals in it. The water is not pure. It creates harm to people from a health perspective. Covid 19 exassurated this situation and put further demanded on clean water. People now need it for hygiene. They need to wash their hands. They need to be safe. So its not just for drinking purposes. With agriculture people want to use fresh water and grow products organically and grow food in a healthy fashion

- Allan Olbur

Today we are not to get it to multiple people that is one reason being we are not to breathe it to the market. Reason being that this is a product which has its limitation of going many points. The utility isnt as easy as existing water sources. Secondly, we are very heavy on using energy today. If we talk about atmospheric water generators based on the best technology. So the are two bottle necks that are there for both of the means of making atmospheric water generators.

- Ramesh Kumar


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


Grey Water Reuse Systems

Rainwater harvesting can work for about 3-4 months whereas grey water reuse systems for flushing toilets work 24hrs/365 days. Grey water needn't be treated before flushing toilets. Rainwater harvesting, if done for directly recharging the groundwater tables, does not require a filtration system. The earth itself serves as a big filter before the Rainwater reaches the ground water tables. 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 why STPs have failed 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 stalling and costs of running)
There are people like Mr Shanbag who are doing it very well. I have also been doing the same for the last 15 years without any problem.

- V K Saxena

Natural Water Purifiers

Canna plants and various types of vetiver plants are natural water purifiers. The art of living complexes uses this same technology for purifying the water. A fashion institute in Pune (500 girl hostel) and Akshardham temple in Pune also use similar technology for purifying the waste water.
I have personally visited the two places in Pune. These systems including the one at AOL are designed and installed by an environment Consultant based in Pune who also happens to be my school junior.

- V K Saxena


Flood Water Harvesting

If you do Flood Water Harvesting across a City like Chennai/Bengaluru/Hyderabad, 100 % and divert the water to parks, bungalows & lakes in addition to making RWH Structures under Flyovers and Open
Govt spaces
There is no need to RWH individually at residential complexes.

- U V Sitapati Rao


Agree. BUT rain water harvesting by individuals is a cultural awareness, water consciousness indicatorHence it shall continue. Presently RWH home/apartment is a clear indication that they care for water

- Neel Mathews

Mandatory use of RWH in Bengaluru

This still will not mitigate the water problem unless reuse of waste water from baths, washing machine and kitchen for flushing toilets is also compulsorily followed. Only Black water generated from toilets should be allowed to go through the sewage outlet to the sewage treatment plant

- V K Saxena

Every bill passed is correct. But until the implementation is done by the individual citizen/ the authorities thinking as a patriot as the defence personnel that they are doing it for the country for our Bharat, nothing will happen. This attitude of it is not for me, let the neighbour do it first has to change. An Indian origin French Journalist while interviewing my father Late Sri B.K Satyanarayan founder of Laughter clubs in Karnataka about Laughter therapy said that India is way ahead in everything but unable to do so because we lack in Patriotism. Have come across people telling me that why should they spend on recharging groundwater because they will not be able to use it. Forgetting that someone else has done that's why they are getting water.

- B S Mamatha

Many activists will now file a petition on this to withdraw this law.

- V K Saxena

Why do they save money for their next generation and even for the next?

- Neel Mathews

On a positive side, things are changing. Neel, wish all of us have a similar mindser fowards natural resources. Doubling it for the next generation

- B S Mamatha

Also, upcoming and existing buildings with a sital area of not less than 10,763.9 sq ft "shall provide dual piping system and rainwater harvesting structure for storage and for use, other than drinking, cooking and bathing purpose," the Bill states,

- Satish Mallya

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

Toilet-To-Tap : Water recycling explained 

This will be reality across the globe in times to come
- Murali Anur

Absolutely……everyone knows when there is no rain or less rain every year, we don't have enough data to know the volume and quality of water
below the ground that's the scary part and hence recovery and reuse becomes mandatory…what's happening in Big springs now can happen
anytime anywhere.

- Vikas Brahmavar

We can easily Reuse Bathwater, washing machine waste water and kitchen waste water without any treatment process for flushing the toilets. The wastewater from the toilets can be sent to STP treatment and purification. In this way the load on the STP is reduced by almost 50% and they will be run efficiently too. We have to look at what we can do in our own country easily rather than look at other countries.

- 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


Indrani Pal, of Columbia University and an active member of WOW Action Forum was conferred in January the Moon Shot award by California’s State Water Resources Control Board and the West Big Data Innovation Hub. 

Indrani says, “The world just needs innovation in diagnosing cultures, human minds, as they evolve with economic development, exposure in the media, mind influencing factors, and alignment of value propositions. 

“People love to buy but do not want to be sold. Environmental goals fall in place as co-benefits and/or regulations are understood. That’s the way to accelerate solutions.


G W W    -   A T M O S P H E R I C    W A T E R    G E N E R A T O R

Atmospheric water generation (AWG) is a technique for extracting drinkable water from the atmosphere. This has the potential to increase water availability during shortages, pollution incidents, and other problems that might cause drinking water supplies to be disrupted. Natural catastrophes, such as hurricanes, and public water infrastructure problems, such as pipe corrosion causing pollution concerns, have piqued interest in AWG technology as a short- and long-term supply option.
Home-based AWG generators can generate 1 to 20 litres of water per day, whereas commercial-scale AWG generators may produce 1,000 to 10,000 litres per day. The rate of water production is greatly influenced by the air temperature and the amount of water vapour (i.e., humidity) present.

Answers to queries from atmospheric water generators are provided by Global Water Works. Roland Wahlgren, the founder of Atmoswater
Research, responds to inquiries. Take a look

N O T   S O   P L E A S A N T    T H O U G H T     O N      E N G I N E E R S    D A Y   

Engineers' Day was celebrated on September 15th. Their contributions drew a lot of positive attention. Muni Rawal describes their contributions throughout the last century. Engineers found solace in the construction of large structures; mechanical engineers in the intricacies of hardware; urban planners in doughnut expansion and ring highways; and urban landscape specialists in beauty and aesthetics. Everyone took so much money out of the (soil) bank account that it was depleted.

250 years ago, Kabir Saab issued a warning. No one seemed to notice. Kabir is now recited in auditoria with large environmental footprints. And we're talking about affordability, sustainability, poverty reduction, and taking a cover of innovative technology.
So what do you think?

W H Y    D O    O U R   A I R P O R T    C I T Y    A R E A S    F L O O D  ?

Some stalwart urban planners and policy players did an exchange in early September on the shocking flooding of our international airports. Here are some voices.
Even a slightly heavy rain causes disastrous flooding in our cities. See how easily our showpiece airports IGI T3 Delhi, CIAL Kochi are prone to flooding.

Shocking! Hydraulics and drainage paths not fully taken care of in extreme intense rains? Modern airports and city developments like aero cities are getting flooded by heavy rains. Is there a planning failure?

At CIAL the flooding happened by a coincidence of factors including siting the airport in a flood plain, unscientific dam management, extraordinarily heavy rains and perhaps design failure.

Combination of effects
The New Mumbai airport is coming up in swampy land. Chennai Airport is on the Adyar river bed. How many more? I don't know. is this a of planning or their failure against the land mafia?
Aero City in Mumbai is on higher ground. But the Main terminals are in low lying land. A recipe for disaster. This is the second serious flood there in Bombay and the roofing system is inherently defective!
I think land availability is a key concern. Japan has a similar problem with the airport they built in the sea for want of land. Chennai airport has it's second runway across the Adyar river and the bridge (~200m × 450m) has 400 odd pillars in the river bed and we wonder why it floods?

Basically low lying land should not be considered 'available'.The problem is the benami land ownership by politicians! Whole of the The Netherlands is below sea level …."the lands under'. But with dyke and bund protection they have developed. What we want is strong hydraulics and engineering, as well as hydraulic path clearing via a smart, adequate, and resilient drainage system. On this front, we're failing horribly. For most cities, we don't have much of a staff working on it. Intensity and long-term consistency will provide higher and greater precipitation. According to the IPCC report, this is related to the consequences of climate change. Everyone believes that drainage is a natural process. It will eventually make its way down to lower levels. Other factors include the blockage of hydraulic pathways due
to land grabs for all development requirements, as well as the closure of tanks, eris, and lakes.


Clearing land for construction without a commensurate diversionary or alternative hydration system. The Netherlands has an elaborate pumping system that keeps subsoil water levels in control. But we don't have to create a problem and run around to solve it. Why not let the low lying areas be!?
We continue to 'conveniently forget' water while planning and implementing various projects. And then blame weather and nature for disasters that were co-created by us. It may be possible to save CIAL from future flooding through engineering measures. But the challenge is to do that without increasing flood vulnerability of adjacent places

Basically you can't work AGAINST water, you have to work WITH it!

Connaught place today! Lack of proper storm water drainage clearance capacity. Too much development above, below and around CP. Where will the water go?

Kerala is the land that Parashurama recovered from the sea with his axe. As the sea level rises and climate change causes river flooding, a flood prevention strategy is needed. The backwaters will play an important role in both preserving the land from flooding and the state's economic growth. It is determining the priority in terms of understanding our budgets. We now have a project with a potential budget of R 1.5 lakh crores. Politicians enjoy because it provides them with a lot of opportunities.


C A T C H    T H E    R A I N    W I T H    N E W   R W H    R U L E ,   B A N G A L O R E    

- The Bangalore Water Supply and sewerage Bill was approved by the Karnataka legislative assembly, making it mandatory for buildings built or to be erected on an area of 2,325 sq ft to 10,763 sq ft to install rainwater harvesting structures for storage, usage, and groundwater recharging. Rainwater collection is also mandatory for plots of 30-40 feet, although it is not required that the gathered water be used. Old houses built on 30-40 foot lots are exempt from the ordinance.
- Buildings with a plot size of more than 10,763 square feet must have a dual piping system and rainwater harvesting structures for storage and usage other than drinking, cooking, and bathing.
- The amendment will "reduce the dependence on Cauvery water, reduce the flow of stormwater drains, mitigate urban flooding, manage the summer peak demand through groundwater charging, provide freshwater source through rainwater harvesting where the groundwater quality is poor and mandate rainwater harvesting as the rain harvested water is free, readily available and has no distribution cost."
- If any of the following conditions are not met, a penalty of 50% will be added to the water bill


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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