Date: August 1, 2022
Time: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
The consultation is a starting point to identify current and future work priorities in the Water, Waste water and Sanitaiton, and the Perspective of developing learning collaterals that needs to guide this work(to ensure that it does not become a normative ouput of training modules, practitioners guidance and report). The consultation brings together practioners and experts, with a diverse and rich knowledge of emerging challenges in the water sector and of developing learning collaterals. The consultation will be followed by a review and input/suggestions to CSE core learning collaterals/training modules.
CSE’s capacity building initiative over the past decade and under the aegis of School of Water and Waste (SWW)– a unit established in 2018 combined together has 7000+ alumni – is focussed on bridging the policy to practice continum in environment and development work in India and global south. CSE has many learning collaterals on Water Sensitive Urban Design and Planning (WSUDP) and Green Infrastructure, City Sanitation Plans(CSPs), Decentralised Waste water Management and Local Reuse, Plan and design black and Grey water Management Systems, Shit Flow Diagrams (SFDs), District Level Planning on FSSM in Rural Areas, Groundwater Recharge and Rainwater Harvesting for Source Sustainability, among others.
CSE has advocated a decentralized systems approach to urban waste and waste water management. CSE’s pioneering work on State of India Environment in the early 1980s(and continued thereafter), produced in collaboration with many civil society organisations and activists, highlighted the integrated aspects of livelihoods, water security, local know how and practices and challenges. “Dying Wisdom” publication in the early 1990s highlighted the significance of traditional knowledge and practices of water harvesting and management in rural India. The growing problem of urban waste water management was highlight in the “Excreta Matters” report of CSE in 2012. The report highlighted the issues emerging from an approach that prioritized centralized hi-tech capital intensive Septage Treatment Plants(STPs) but not Operation and Maintenance of sewage treatment infrastructure, leading to our small streams, storm water drainage systems and rivers becoming our open sewers.
Water, waste water and sanitation discoursetoday is dominated by a normative understanding:water as a resource andas a service, that needs to be “efficiently managed in an integrated way”. It ends up seeing water scarcity and quality issues, indiscriminately tied to urban resilience and climate change. Urban planning(Master Plans) formulation often ends up doing lip service to ideas of Green-Blue Infrastructure, Integrated Urban Water management and Water Security concepts, with no commitment to actually reduce dependence on water from other regions/rivers/states, to recharge of ground water where it is most needed and improving drainage where it is a problem, or reducing water demand by putting a limit to population densification of a city.
A plethora of frameworks and tools are being generated, that fragment rather than integrate all water and waste water issues and challenges we are faced with today.
Water and waste water considerations in the urban India(and in most developing global south countries), cannot be separated from their rural context. Both dependence on water and the dumping of waste water, now impacts rural areas and natural habitats, as much if not more than the urban habitats. While the SDGs try to drill the understanding that all development goals are interlinked and one cannot be reached without addressing the others, this does not often translate into the work of organisations working on water and waste water.
Urban water and waste water issues that are being addressed within an urban programming(mostly within the big national missions and programme funding),end up developing tools and frameworks that address ground water or surface water of city, its aquifers or a river passing through the city : as a point of reference of engagement and problem solving. Within a city,inequity(social and economic), translates into inequity to all services, including water. Given that a large majority of urban population in metro cities of India now live in informal/unauthorized settlements: normative approaches of water conservation, harvesting and recharge, rejuvenation of water bodies, decentralized waste water treatment systems;simply cannot be implemented there given their dense layout. Application of standard water sensitive urban design and planning, decentralized sanitation systems and ground water recharge may not be a solution there. What is required is administrative interventions to create wider roads, followed by infrastructure of storm water drainage and sewerage.
Failure of provisioning of basic infrastructure in the informal settlements is nowadays confused with failure of urban planning per se, and a lack of understanding and application of water conservation systems. Water, waste water and sanitation sector requires a trans disciplinary approach.An application of both political economy and political ecology perspectives.
For our learning collaterals, identifying what is the core learning focus that we want to convey(not normative but guided by a political economy and ecology understanding) – should guide the development of learning collaterals(Practitioners guidance, Workbooks, Frameworks, etc.). Capacity Building training content for practitioners is developed as : Orientation Modules, followed by Planning, and Deisgning modules. Here too the core learning focus that we need to convey, should be creatively defined and included into a menu of planning and designing options.
The consultation will invite discussion and inputs to this understanding and approach of CSE. We would also invite feedback and input on some of our learning collaterals.
Consultation format :
CSE collaterals for discussion:
|Workshop Director||Workshop Coordinator
Theme – Groundwater & City water balance
Theme – Green Infrastructure
|Depinder Singh Kapur
Water Programme, CSE
+91-11-40616000 (Ext: 286)
Deputy Programme Manager
Urban Water-Waste Programme
+91-11-40616000 (Ext: 312)