The Urban Water Unit of Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) organised a two-day virtual Capacity Building cum Need Assessment Sensitization on Water Sensitive Urban Design and Planning (WSUDP): Approach, Concepts and Methods for Rainwater Harvesting (RWH) in Parks and Open Spaces on 18-19 June, 2020.
The workshop was organised under Phase-I of the MoU between CSE and Housing and Urban Development Dept. (HUDD), Govt. of Odisha; in lieu of an Advisory issued by HUDD on ‘WSUDP Phase-I’ dated 2 June, 2020 The objective of the workshop was to sensitive key municipal functionaries with scope and objectives of the advisory, to provide overview of different methods of RWH in parks and open spaces, and to discuss and deliberate on the Preliminary Action Plans (PAPs) for the ULBs.
The workshop was inaugurated by Sh. G. Mathi Vathanan, Principal Secretary, HUDD, Govt. of Odisha, where he also recommended to develop a rating system regarding the performance of ULBs regarding preparation and implementation of the Advisory and PAPs.
Kickstarting the workshop, Dr Suresh Rohilla, CSE shared key findings of report prepared by CSE ‘Roadmap for Implementation of WSUDP in Odisha: RWH in Public Parks and Open Spaces’, wherein he shared details of CSE research on RWH potential of select parks in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Rourkela and Berhampur. It was realised that annual RWH potential ranging from 58 Mil L to 108 Mil L can be harvested, assuming 15 Neighbourhood Parks employ SUDS techniques like Swales, Bio-retention Areas, Raingardens, etc. It was also realised that the area of these structures requires only 1-3% of the total area of the park, and provide associated biodiversity and aesthetic benefits.
Taking the discussions forward, Ms Shivali Jainer, CSE shared various designs and combinations for RWH structures to be implemented in Parks. Model plans and cross-sections were illustrated, with customisations based on site parameters. During discussions, the role of community engagement in Operation and Maintenance (O&M) and collaboration with Self-Help Groups was also discussed as an important aspect of successful implementation of WSUDP.
Day 1 of the Technical Session was reserved for functionaries from Bhubaneswar and Cuttack, where the officials deliberated on the data available, and to be procured from primary and secondary sources for preparation on PAPs. Thoughts were also shared on key implementation challenges related to O&M and implementation in lieu of varying groundwater table. Similarly,
Day 2 of the Technical Session was reserved for functionaries from Rourkela, Berhampur, Angul, Puri, Sambalpur and Paradeep.
The workshop was summarised by Sh. Shushanta Mishra, Joint Secretary, HUDD deliberated on speeding up the process of forming the City Level Task Force and data collection for PAP for cities. The event was closed with a vote of thanks for the dignitaries and participants.
Shivali Jainer, Programme Manager, CSE briefly showcased the WSUDP principles, and opportunity areas for implementation under various urban development mechanisms in Odisha, w.r.t planning guidelines, land use and rainfall patterns in cities of Odisha. Dr Rohilla summarised by providing a roadmap for short and long-term activities over the next three years, with focus on high visibility-high impact model projects, capacity building and technical support.
During the discussion session with various participants, Ms Narain and Sh. Mani Vathanan urged the officials to think beyond individual projects on RWH, and identify and include opportunity areas like public parks and open spaces, roads, flyovers. Sh. Mani Vathanan also highlighted the need for two modules for capacity building: one for general officials, and another for practitioners involved in implementation in ULBs and Development Authorities.
Dr Rohilla summarised the workshop, by highlighting key takeaways including preparing of action plan for implementation for short- and long-term projects.
Shivali Jainer, Programme Manager, CSE
Sushanta Kumar Mishra, Joint Secretary HUDD Odisha