The Centre for Sustainable Development (www.csdindia.in) and GTZ in association with BWSSB, IWWA, KUWSDB, IPHE, BDA, BBMP and IE organized a National Conference on Urban Water Management (www.urbanwater.in) which was held in Bangalore from the 13th of December, 2009 to the 15th of December, 2009. The objective of the conference was to bring together various stakeholders in urban water management on a single platform so as to enable the exchange of ideas for the sustainable management of the urban water system. Arghyam was a co-sponsor of the event.
As highlighted earlier, the conference was held over three days. On the 13th of December, 2009, trips were organized to various waste-water treatment plants located in and around Bangalore – in V-valley, in Cubbon Park, in Yelahanka and in TK halli. On the 14th of December, 2009, the actual proceedings began with an address by Sri. Katta Subramanya Naidu, the Hon’ble Minister of BWSSWB, IT & BT, Government of Karnataka. This was followed by ten technical sessions based on various themes, spread out over the remaining two days.
Technical Session One was based on the theme of “Integrated urban water management”. The keynote address was by Dr. Gopalakrishnan of Anna University. Arghyam represented by Gopal Kulkarni, presented a paper titled “Implementing integrated urban water management in India”. The paper can be downloaded here. The aim of this paper was to introduce audiences to the looming water problem in smaller urban centers in India. Arghyam believes that this problem can be dealt with by managing urban water holistically based on the four pillars of sustainability – environmental, financial & economic, technical and institutional as well as the additional pillar of social equity. Arghyam has in-fact started implementing a pilot based on these principles in a town municipal council named Mulbagal in Kolar district in the state of Karnataka. Thus, Arghyam’s presentation at the conference was aimed at telling the audience about how it is going about implementing this pilot in Mulbagal based on the principles of the IUWM approach. There were three other presentations in this session – a case study by Rana Singh of Atkins on how the water requirements for the North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (NEIGRIHMS) near Shillong were met through optimal usage and augmentation of available water resources based on the RRR principle; Dr-Ing Martina Scheer of the Indo German Water Network spoke about sustainable planning approaches in water supply and sewerage systems; and, P.B. Ramamurthy spoke of how e-governance initiatives at BWSSB had helped the utility provide better services to this customers while helping it better manage its finances. Technical Session Two was based on the theme of “Reclamation and reuse of Waste Water”. The keynote address was by Dr. Sundaramoorthy of CMWSSDB, Bangalore. Dr. Uday G. Kelkar of NJS Consultants Co. Ltd. spoke about the urgent need for waste water recycling in India. Asavari V. Devadiga of the University of California used case studies from California to present the need for ‘storm-water drainage and reuse’ for the sustainable management of urban water resources. Edgar Schiker of the University of Applied Sciences in Nuremberg in Germany explained how the use of membrane technologies can be used to avoid chemical hazards during waste water treatment. The session ended with a presentation by a representative of Living Waterefine Technologies highlighting details of how its membrane based systems can be used for waste-water treatment.
Technical Session Three was based on the theme of “Water quality and quantity management”. The keynote address was by Prof. A B Gupta of MNIT, Jaipur. G. V. Hegde and M. V. Shashirekha of the Department of Mines and Geology highlighted the deteriorating groundwater scenario in the city of Bangalore. S.S Hegde presented a case study of how groundwater is being managed in the Cochin-Ernakulam urban area. The final presentation of the session was by Celia D. D’souza of IISc on her research work about quantity and quality control in urban water distribution systems. Technical Session Four was held parallel to this session and was based on the theme of “Wastewater treatment”. The highlight of this session was a presentation by Prof. H. S. Shankar of IIT Bombay on waste-water management by the application of CAMUS-SBT technology. In addition to this, there were various other presentations on various technologies for waste-water treatment and a presentation by the Indian institute of Public administration in New Delhi on the various legal mechanisms available in the Indian legal system to deal with water pollution problems.
Technical Session Five was based on the theme of “Water resources & management of Urban Lakes”. The keynote address was by Prof. P. P. Majumdar of IISc Bangalore on “Climate Change and its effects on water resources”. The aim of the presentation was to explain to the audience on how GCM (general circulation flow models) are used to understand the effects of climate change at a global level and how IISc is trying to use in-house models to understand impacts of climate change on the water system at a regional level. The remaining speakers described how various measures are being taken to restore urban lakes in Hyderabad and how lakes can be better managed in Bangalore to control urban flooding. Technical Session Six was based on the theme of “Groundwater management”. K. Amaranarayana, Deputy Commissioner, Davangere presented a case study of how traditional water systems are being used to recharge ground water in the city of Chitradurga. In addition to this, there were various other presentations on how ground-water can be managed more sustainably across urban centers in India.
The session for the 15th of November, 2009 began with a plenary lecture by M. Ramachandran, Secretary with Ministry of Urban Development, Govt of India. This was followed by a few technical sessions. Technical Session Seven was based on the theme of “Reduction of UFW/Water Auditing”. The keynote address was by Prof. Ramesh of IIM Bangalore. The highlight of the session was a presentation by the town municipal corporation of Kundapura on the various steps taken by town authorities to successfully ensure that the un-accounted for water in the town is under control (below the government decreed limit of 15%). A representative of MWH Global Inc. presented a case study of how the concept of valve criticality modeling was successfully used by the company in a water management project for the city of London. Anjum Parvez of the Directorate of Municipal Administration, Govt of Karnataka and M. N. Thippeswamy, Retd. Chief Engineeer of BWSSB, Bangalore spoke about various aspects of managing non-revenue water in urban areas. Technical Session Eight was based on the theme of “Watershed management and conservation”. One of the most interesting presentations was expected to be by Khosro Afzali of the Islamic Azad University in Iran who was supposed to present a case study of how urban water is being managed in the city of Shushtar in Iran.
Technical Session Nine was based on the theme of “Best practices in water supply”. Pranay Sinha of JUSCO enlightened the users on various water management best practises adapted for the city of Jamshedpur. Nandi Foundation presented a paper on “Urban drinking water scenario in India - problems associated and a solution model to the associated problems”. The presentation was a case-study of how the organization has developed an interesting community based water management system in an urban slum scenario. The session ended with a presentation by CSD on “lifestyle change approach for saving water in Bangalore”. The speaker spoke about how CSD is carrying out various pilots in localities in Bangalore to study whether changes in one’s lifestyle can lead to more efficient usage of water and energy. Technical Session Ten was based on the theme of “Rainwater harvesting” with various speakers elucidating the important role played by rain-harvesting in a sustainable water management scenario.
The conference concluded with an evening of cultural programmes.