India- South Africa Knowledge Sharing Workshop on Sustainable Water Solutions for Future

Date: February 4, 2016

Venue: Casuarina Hall, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi

CSE recently organised a one day knowledge sharing workshop on “Sustainable Water Solutions for Future” on 4th February, 2016. A high powered delegation from South Africa was part of this workshop.  The delegation comprised of key functionaries from Water Research Commission - WRC (the knowledge centre for water related innovation in South Africa), RAND Water (the largest bulk water utility in Africa), South Africa Department of Science and Technology and South Africa Department of Water Affairs and Sanitation. 

The workshop received an overwhelming response, which included representatives from the Ministry of Urban Development, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Ministry of Water Resources, urban local bodies and leading academicians and researchers involved in the field of sustainable water management. 

The central theme of the workshop was to deliberate and share experiences of challenges and opportunities in mainstreaming sustainable water/wastewater management, which includes water sensitive design and planning and septage (faecal) management. 

Delegates from WRC shared their experience on mainstreaming sustainable water – wastewater solutions, technology and case studies. Mr. Dhesigen Naidoo (Chief Executive Officer, WRC), emphasised on supporting technology which eliminates waste at the source and therefore stressed on the importance of moving away from the current “flush-and dispose” paradigm and introducing the next generation toilet technology. Similarly, Mr. Jayant Bhagwan (Executive Manager- Key strategic area of water use and waste management, WRC), discussed a few selected new innovation tools for the management faecal sludge management that are being implemented in South Africa. Dr Suresh Rohilla (Programme Director, CSE) explained CSE’s research project “Shit Flow Diagram” (SFD) – which assesses faecal waste flow in 11 cities of India which will lead to a greater understanding of the need for review of current infrastructure projects on water-waste and to explore other options which focus on reuse and recycling for achieving 100% sanitation in Indian cities. Prof. Christine Moe (Director, Centre for Global Safe Wash, Emory University) stressed on the need for site-specific evidence to help make decisions regarding sanitation investments and therefore introduced the “SaniPath tool” to assess the exposure to faecal contamination in low resource urban settings. 

The workshop further deliberated on the theme of water sensitive urban design and planning for cities in the developing world. Ms. Valerie Naidoo (Executive Manager- Business Development and Innovation, WRC) talked about the latest developments being made in South Africa, highlighting WRC’s first framework document” Water Sensitive Urban Design for South Africa: Framework and Guidelines”, which promotes a holistic and resource efficient manner of providing water services to communities. Presenting an Indian case, Prof Somnath Sen (Associate Professor, IIT-Kharagpur) shared a good example of WSUD intervention on stormwater management in Medinipur (West Bengal) considering different criteria according to different site conditions. Ms. Shivali Jainer (Senior Research Associate, CSE) also presented a case study on Dwarka to analyse water sensitivity of a peri urban area. 

The event also marked beginning of a knowledge partnership between CSE and WRC with a Memorandum of Understanding signed between both institutions to develop south – south practitioner’s network for mainstreaming sustainable water management solutions. 

The workshop was attended by key stakeholders state and non - state including Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation partners involved in promoting sustainable sanitation solutions.   


For further details contact:

Ms. Ridhima Gupta, Senior Research Associate

Dr Suresh Kumar Rohilla, Programme Director