“Sustainable management of water and wastewater is one of the essential prerequisites for development in modern times. Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) and the International Water Association (IWA), which have been at the forefront in policy and practice of sustainable water-wastewater management, are now coming together to give a stronger push to this issue:” said experts from CSE, as the two organisations signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Friday, April 5, 2019.
The MoU was signed at the closing ceremony of the SFD Week, a gathering of global experts at CSE’s Anil Agarwal Environment Training Institute in Nimli. The discussions at the conference ranged over various policies and practices of affordable and sustainable citywide sanitation – with CSE’s work on Shit Flow Diagrams (SFD), which are visual representations of how a city disposes off its excreta, at the centrestage.
Opening the three-day conference on April 2, Sunita Narain, director general of CSE, said: “A country like India cannot allow a single drop of its precious and limited water to be degraded. But that is exactly what is happening – our rivers and lakes, and our groundwater, are getting increasingly polluted. What we are attempting here in the SFD Week is to join the dots — see the linkages between our water, our rivers, our sewage, and our wastewater. Our challenge of having a ‘Clean India’ will not be met just by building toilets, but by building entire sanitation systems that are sustainable and affordable for all. Only then will we be able to protect our water.”
The sessions in the SFD Week covered issues ranging from water security and climate change, and tools and approaches for ensuring citywide inclusive sanitation, to best practices, solutions and technologies. Among the key speakers were D S Mishra, secretary, Union ministry of housing and urban affairs; Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, director general, National Mission for Clean Ganga; and Kala Vairavamoorthy, executive director, IWA. Several experiences from across the world were shared by the speakers over the three days of the conference.
Signing the MoU, Vairavamoorthy said: “IWA and CSE share a common objective to strengthen the professional capacity for achieving global sustainable development. The MoU would facilitate greater collaboration and co-operation between the two organisations. The areas of collaboration would include research, knowledge production, communication and dissemination and training and capacity building.”