Online Training on Water Sensitive Urban Design & Planning - Approach, Challenges & Potential

Dates: September 07 - 20, 2021
Course Duration: Fourteen days(16 hours)
Learning Platforms: Moodle and Zoom

School of Water and Waste in partnership with National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) organized an online training programme on Water Sensitive Urban Design and Planning from September 7-20, 2021. The training aimed at capacity building of State / Municipal functionaries and other sector players involved in city planning and urban infrastructure development.This online training was the first movement as a part of series of activities envisaged under newly launched 3-year duration CSE programme – ‘Capacity building initiative focusing on ‘Making Ganga basin cities water sensitive’ Under this initiative series of – webinars, workshops trainings (both online and residential), field exposure visits, knowledge conclaves aimed at engaging 1,300+ number state / municipal functionaries and other sector players.

The training received an overwhelming response with 150+ registered participants course from 12 States (including 11 Ganga basin states and Maharashtra) including State programme management groups (SPMGs), planners (urban/regional/environment), engineers, joint directors and assistant directors from town and country planning departments, and officials from urban development authorities. 

The training Module was prepared on the basis of the basic needs assessment to recognize the level of understanding towards the course.This online training was divided in 2 modules spread over two weeks (14 days). Reading material was uploaded on the online course moodle platform for the participants. Methodology of the course included a hybrid format of active learning of total 16 hours; 8 hours of essential reading material on moodle and 8 hours of live virtual sessions. The programme was based on state-of-art teaching – learning tools consisting of interactive sessions, essential and desirable reading materials, presentations, quizzes, documentaries, experiential learning using detailed case studies, online discussions on the forum and working in groups. A total number of seven online interactive sessions were planned to develop an in-depth understanding of WSUDP approach and tools through interaction and exercises. The sessions were conducted both by in-house experts as well as invited eminent speakers experienced in the same domain. 

Part 1: Context, Concept and Significance of WSUDP (07-14 September, 2021), of the online training started with a live virtual Inaugural and Launch Event on September 7, 2021 for setting the context of the training to welcome all the participants. At the virtual launch event, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), in partnership with the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), Ministry of Jal Shakti, Government of India have released a report titled 'Roadmap for Implementation of Water-Sensitive Design and Planning (WSUDP) in Uttar Pradesh: Stormwater Harvesting in Parks and Open Spaces'. CSE’s report showcased the potential of WSUDP in select cities of Uttar Pradesh- Lucknow, Varanasi, Kanpur, Prayagraj and Moradabad – withthe focus on stormwater harvesting in public spaces. The report provides a brief overview of the Ganga basin with respect to urban water management; and focuses on the five cities which are located on the banks of the Ganga and its tributaries. The cities face complex issues related to urban flooding, over-exploited groundwater resources and encroachment of water bodies. They are also part of the national flagship programmes of AMRUT and Smart Cities, which provide an opportunity to mainstream WSUDP in these cities.

The inaugural session was addressed by Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, Director General, NMCG. Mr Mishra shared how Namami Gange mission has evolved from a river cleaning project to a holistic river rejuvenation mission and also focused that WSUDP is one of the key focus areas of the Namami Gange mission.Rajiv Ranjan Mishra also pointed out that it is time to remind urban city planners and managers that if the city has to survive and thrive, they need to focus on urban water bodies. 

The session was also addressed by Suresh Kumar Rohilla, Senior Director, Urban Water programme, where he spoke about the key issues and challenges in the Ganga basin. “The urban built-up area has increased by approximately 44 per cent between now and 2005-06. Dr Rohilla also stated that the increased built up has widened the water demand-supply gap, leading to over-exploitation of river stretches and aquifers and deterioration and encroachment of urban lakes and ponds. And explaining about the issues and challenges, he summarized that in such a scenario, cities need a water-sensitive approach.” 

The first module of the training envisioned to establish the need towards a water sensitive design and how it is different from conventional water-management solutions in cities. This module also included an analysis of WSUDP on different intervention scales to execute site level designs. As part of the first interactive session, ArSomnath Sen, Retd. Associate Professor at IIT Kharagpur delivered a presentation on "Water Sensitive Urban Design and Planning: Approach, challenges and Potential for Indian cities". Ar. Sen described the issues; challenges being faced in the cities and thereby explained the potential of WSUDP at a neighbourhood scale. He also stated the step-by-step implementation process of WSUDP and benefits at a city scale with the successful case examples in West Bengal (one of the main stem Ganga basin states).

The second interactive session was delivered by Ar Vandana Menon, Independent Consultant on "Rainwater Harvesting in Neighbourhood Communities". Ms Menon showcased the successful example of Nizamuddin society in Delhi and highlighted the role of community participation for the implementation of the project. She also mentioned that the water table has been increased over the years through the RWH design and planning provided by CSE. The session was followed by an interactive presentation by team National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) – Ms Nikita Madan, Environmental Planner and Ms Vishakha Jha, Senior Environmental Specialist and Ms Shivani Saxena, Environmental Planner, from NMCG on the topic "Towards River-Sensitive Development in Cities". They explained the issues and challenges faced by the cities and the highlighted the strategies used by National Institute of Urban affairs (NIUA) to overcome them through their River sensitive planning. The session was divided into two sections – project based interventions and policy level interventions respectively to address urban river challenges. They have also emphasized the sections of River sensitive planning used in the newly proposed Delhi Master Plan 2041 and described the procedure and planning processes involved in the preparation of the plan.

Part 2: WSUDP Approaches and Management Framework (15-20 September, 2021), introduced various WSUDP features: SUDS, GI, RWH, Constructed Wetlands. This module provided the participants with insight on O&M, stakeholder engagement strategies, and economics of WSUDP features. The module also presented case studies in support of WSUDP principles and analyse the relevant tools and techniques. In next interactive session by Dr Chandrashekhar Shankar, Director, Vision EarthCare (VEC) on the topic "Nature Based Waste Water Recycling to Build Blue Green Infrastructure" highlighted various implemented projects delivered by his firm where he used the CAMUS- SBT technology for wastewater treatment processes. Also a session on "Water Conservation Strategies" was conveyed Nupur Srivastava, Programme Manager, CSE emphasized on the water use demand and various conservation techniques at an individual, neighbourhood and city level to understand the need and value of water. The presentation also focused on the various solutions to build Water Wise homes. Each session had a 20-25 mins presentation time followed by a Q&A round to interact with the participants and to resolve their queries on the topic.

The final day of the training (September 20, 2021) was reserved foran interactive session focusing on some basic exercises, quizzes, case examples and discussionson WSUDP concept. The training was concluded with a detailed feedback session moderated by Suresh Kumar Rohilla, CSE and with reflections on the learnings, future training programmes, way forward and action plans by the participants followed by a vote of thanks. 

Academic Director

Dr. Suresh Kumar Rohilla
Senior Director & Academic Director
School of Water and Waste, Anil Agarwal Environment Training Institute – AAETI

Training Coordinators

Ms. Nupur Srivastava 
Programme Manager & Training Coordinator
Water Programme
Mobile: +91-7506843420


Press Release
Report on ‘water-sensitive design and planning in Uttar Pradesh’ released jointly by CSE and the National Mission for Clean Ganga
Inaugural Session Recording
Click to enlarge
“Great Session. Thank You Dr.Suresh Sir, Ms Nupur Ji, Ms Shivani ji for organising such informative workshop.”
Awadhesh Jain, Zonal Officer, Dewas Municipal Corporation
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Target Audience
  • Central / State / Municipal functionaries (decision makers / managers and regulators): Planners (Urban/ Regional/ Environment), Engineers, Architects / Landscape Architects working in Town & Country Planning / Municipal Administration Department or State Urban Development Authorities
  • Engineers (Civil / Mech./ Envn.) or Planners working with Water Supply and Sewerage Boards / Jal Nigam or Jal Sansthan etc.
  • Any other functionaries dealing with:
    - AMRUT, Smart Cities Mission, Jal Jeevan Mission (Urban), Swachh Bharat Mission (U), Atal Bhujal Mission, Namami Gange.
    - Any other programme dealing with water, sanitation, flood, river, wetland or environment related matters in the city and its urbanizable areas.
Benefits of Participation
  • Course participation/completion certificate
  • One-year free subscription to Down To Earth magazine after course completion
  • Join a global network of practitioners of the School of Water and Waste
  • No training fees (but all nominated officials are expected to attend all the sessions)
Inaugural Session Speaker
Rajiv Ranjan Mishra
Director General
External Experts for the training
Somnath Sen
Retd. Associate Professor at IIT Kharagpur
Vandana Menon
Independent Consultant,
New Delhi
P.Z. Thomas
Managing Director & EIA Coordinator,
M/s Environmental Engineers & Consultants Pvt Ltd
Chandrashekhar Shankar
Vision Earth Care (VEC)