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Coca-Cola and TERI University Focus On Building Experts for Sustainable Water Resource Management and Cleaning of Indian Rivers
India Education Diary , 8 October 2014
New Delhi: Cleaning Indian rivers has been a major issue that our country has been grappling with for many years. Despite cleaning of rivers being a major agenda for the Government, there is a significant decline in water quality - arising from growing population, increasing urbanization and industrial growth, which needs to be tackled with expertise. Against this background and with an aim to address the foremost challenges in water resource management, Coca-Cola and TERI University organized a High Level Dialogue on the theme “Cleaning of India’s Rivers - Design of Participatory Approaches’. The half-day symposium brought together key stakeholders to deliberate on a collaborative approach in the area of cleaning Indian rivers. Hon’ble Union Minister of Water Resources, Ms. Uma Bharti, was present at the occasion, along with Dr R K Pachauri, Director General, The Energy and Research Institute (TERI), Dr Leena Shrivastava, Vice Chancellor of TERI University and Mr Venkatesh Kini, President, Coca-Cola India and South West Asia. Delivering the keynote address, Sushri Uma Bharti, Hon’ble Union Minister for Water Resources said “We need to analyze why rivers, that were unpolluted for thousands of years, have suddenly become severely polluted during the past 40-50 years. Today, even animals cannot take a dip in the waters. We need a judicious mix of knowledge from global and national best practices to clean up our rivers, as it has happened in Sabarmati, Thames and the Rhine. The most important task is to ensure minimum biological flow of the river. Even treated water should not be allowed to flow into the river. She further added, “We need a participatory approach from various stakeholders, including industries, to make cleaning the Ganga a success. The industry needs to realize that if rivers die, the industries would die too. It is easy to dwell on the problems, but difficult to come up with solutions, or even to know where to start.” Dr R K Pachauri, Chancellor, TERI University and Director-General, TERI, said: “India’s rivers are polluted to an extent that does not allow any life to survive in them. The result is not only widespread economic loss, but also the spread of disease on account of pollutants, toxic waste and disease carrying organisms being transported by our rivers. For this reason the Government of India is placing great emphasis on cleaning of the country’s rivers. However, success in this regard would involve not merely action by the Government, but the involvement of all stakeholders, ensuring participatory action by all.” Speaking on the occasion, Mr Venkatesh Kini, President, Coca-Cola India and South West Asia, said, The National Water Policy states that the lack of adequate trained personnel for scientific planning, utilizing modern techniques and analytical capabilities incorporating information technology constrains good water management. It is here that the Coca-Cola Department of Water Studies can help the Government’s plans on holistic water management. Also, as we move towards making India the growth engine of Asia and bring about well-rounded development, we will need some very innovative approaches to water management. This will include efficiency in water usage projects as also ways to provide access to clean water at low costs and with minimum wastage. We are hoping that this department will generate enough intellectual capital to cater to the needs of a modern India”Speaking at the Dialogue, Dr Leena Srivastava, Vice Chancellor, TERI University, said: “TERI University is preparing its students to provide systemic solutions to the critical sustainability challenges that we face today. We have spent an enormous amount of time and resources in trying to clean our rivers unsuccessfully. While large-scale, centralised technological solutions are undoubtedly important, they are obviously not sufficient to deal with a complex river system – avoidance has to be invested in as much as treatment and decentralised solutions have to be part of the package of measures. And for this, we need proper policies, regulations and incentives to engage people in both water conservation and protection.” The Dialogue marked the formal beginning of The Coca-Cola Department of Water Studies with 21 students joining the various courses in the first year. Water benchmarks The Coca-Cola Foundation, Coca-Cola India and TERI University have collaborated to launch the Coca-Cola Department of Regional Water Studies for Master’s level programme on Water Science and Governance. The Department aims to develop a globally competitive cadre of young water management professionals, scientifically manage water resources in the country with the help of research, development and new technologies, as well as build capability for various stakeholders who can influence policy and implement research effectively. Focused towards addressing the challenges of water management in the country and the need for multi-disciplinary solution to achieve a long-lasting and agreeable outcome, the program will examine water issues in an interdisciplinary framework, bringing in cultural, educational and scientific factors as well as religious, ethical, social, political, legal, institutional and economic dimensions towards a better, holistic approach to water management. The High-Level Dialogue held today is the first in a series of upcoming interactive seminars, which will be hosted by the newly-formed Coca-Cola Department of Regional Water Studies. Eminent experts on rivers discussed various facets of the problem linked to institutional issues, inadequate waste management, infrastructure and services, lack of financial incentives, poor environmental monitoring and regulation. The delegates who participated at the Dialogue, included decision-makers, representatives from academic institutes and multinational organizations, policy-makers and representatives from Non- Governmental Organizations. The event served as a platform to discuss challenges, strategies and opportunities for cleaning of rivers for sustainable water management. Findings of River Study Students from TERI University presented an analysis of the evaluation and quality restoration plan for river Yamuna. The study focuses on linkages between public perception of water quality, the associated risk perception and their willingness to participate in water management projects. The recommendations include: · Declaration of the river quality, post river action plans is important · Development of water quality surveillance according to the restoration plan and technological requirement · Entire NCR must be sewered to the extent possible to ensure near “zero” discharge in the river. This can be done by upgrading the existing STPs, rehabilitating exiting sewers and laying new ones. · Any excess sewage entering directly into the river must be tapped and treated by establishing alternative drainage systems like canals or bandha (a kind of retaining wall or dam extending from a few meters below the riverbed to the river’s flood level) on either or both sides of the river to dispose the entire wastewater without lowering the Dissolved Oxygen (DO) levels in the river. • River front development needs to be looked upon as both an economically-viable and environmental-friendly solution to promote the concept of “Green City”. • Flow augmentation via impounding the river to use the water stored during the monsoon period and released during the dry periods. • The recycle and reuse of treated wastewater is also one of the main opportunities, by which water can be used for irrigation, horticulture, and industrial purposes. It can also be used for cooling the towers in power stations etc. •Diffusing pollution via urban and agricultural runoff can be minimized by establishing rainwater harvesting units within the city and sustainable urban drainage systems (SuDs).
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Action plan fails to clean Yamuna
Times of India , 8 October 2014
A study by The Energy and Resources Institute (Teri) has found that Yamuna needs approximately 3.46 billion litres per day (BLD) of fresh flow of water to be able to sustain aquatic life and support day-to-day activities of people living on its banks. The figure is almost equivalent to the amount of drinking water the city needs everyday. However, not even a fraction of that is being added to the Delhi stretch of the river now. Teri researchers say there is no data on addition of water fresh water as most of it is sewage. The study that assessed data from various monitoring agencies for the past 10 years also suggested that the Yamuna Action Plans (YAP) may have failed to improve water quality but it has not deteriorated drastically either after its implementation. The study was presented at a conference on "Cleaning of Indian Rivers" organized by Teri on Tuesday Teri researchers claimed that YAP I and II, which had been implemented at the cost of hundreds of crores may not be a complete failure. "We have found in the data for 10 years that water quality has been very poor but stable. It could have become worse if there was no YAP," said Deepshikha Sharma, researcher from Teri University. The 10-year data was also used to assess what kind of solutions would help in reducing pollution levels. The research team formulated four scenarios—business as usual (BAU) where no special intervention is made and the water treatment plan goes as per master plan 2021 with interceptor sewers and 100% capacity efficiency of STPs; scenario 2 considers that all STPs are upgraded with advance tertiary treatment options; scenario 3 considers that all the 13 drains on the right bank of the river are diverted into Agra canal, and scenario 4 considers recycling and reuse options, along with scenario 3. Researchers found that the best option seemed to be scenario 4 where drains are diverted and there is treatment and reuse of sewage water at the same time. The research team has also made recommendations to upgrade water quality—they suggest increasing flow by impounding the river to use water stored during monsoon and releasing it during the dry season, artificial aeration for the stream, its tributaries, open drains, use of treated waste water for irrigation, horticulture and industrial needs.
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Learning Right
Times of India (Speaking Tree), 13 September 2014
The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) focuses on sustainability issues such as environmental ethics and green development.“Students are exposed to the whole picture so that they can get attuned to nature. They learn how to approach and tackle issues with a multi disciplinary perspective, imbued with a set of values, which embrace human progress by inclusion of environmental considerations and the state of the natural resources in the world,”says Rajiv Seth, registrar, TERI University.


 

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Malnutrition and Its Linkage to Sustainable Development
ThinK to Sustain, 10 February 2012

Nida Yamin, a student at TERI University, explores the long-prevalent issue of malnutrition in India and its effects on growth and development of the country as a whole, and suggests how community-based programs can improve the situation and lead to national nutrition security.   
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