American water expert William DeOreo met senior government officials at the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB) and presented the U.S. perspectives on water planning and demand forecasting during his two-day visit to the city that ended on Tuesday. Meanwhile Russian scientists too presented their methods at a meet in Coimbatore.
DeOreo also volunteers on municipal advisory boards in Boulder, Colorado, which address water and land concerns raised by the public.
Meanwhile in Coimbatore scientists from the Russian Academy of Sciences said several of their water management practices have great relevance in the Indian context.
Four scientists from the academy and another from Environment Canada are here to participate in a two-day India-Russia consultation on ‘water management for human welfare and environment protection’ at Karunya Institute of Technology and Sciences.
Highlighting the issues related to Moscow water supply system depending on surface water systems on Moscow, Vazuaza and Volga rivers, Dr Polyianin Vladislav Olegovich of Water Problem Institute of the Academy said it was interesting to note that several of their practices have relevance to the urban water supply schemes of India.
Stating that they have evolved scientific operation rules to contain floodwaters and to ensure reliable water supply, Polyianin said if such rules were followed in India, the devastation caused by floods in Chennai and Kerala would not have been brought down.
The waters from Vizuza drain into the Volga river and the waters are often pumped into the Moscow river slope during scarcity, he noted. Such simple inter-basin transfers have relevance in Indian context, especially in Coimbatore water supply schemes from different river systems, he said.
Emeritus scientist of Environment Canada Dr Rajasekara Murthy mentioned management of Great Lakes of North America, in which he was involved during the past four decades.
Water expert Dr EJ James, elaborating on the water management problems in India, said more than 60 per cent of the population in the country do not have basic sanitation facility and over 80 per cent of the municipal waste water join the freshwater streams without any treatment, contributing to water quality deterioration, water-borne diseases and degradation of ecosystems.